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Mentoring & Leadership Resources

Big Brothers Big Sisters Amachi Program

A one-to-one mentoring program that matches children of incarcerated parents with volunteers from the community.
1855 East Dublin-Granville Road, Columbus, Ohio 43229
(866) 892-2447
amachiohio.org

Big Brothers Big Sisters of Central Ohio

The community-based program matches children ages 5 to 14 with an older Big Brother or Big Sister friend. The school-based program in Franklin, Union and Delaware counties allows students to meet once a week at their school with a mentor who can help them reach career and academic goals. In Franklin County, they reach out to Spanish-speaking youth and families through their Hispanic Mentoring Program.
1855 East Dublin Granville Road, Columbus, Ohio 43229
(614) 839-2447
bbbscentralohio.org

Bold Columbus Summer Leadership Camp

Offers a low-cost outdoor leadership program for Franklin County youth ages 9 – 12. Based at Battelle Darby Creek Metro Park just west of downtown Columbus, Bold Columbus provides fun and educational experiences, including group challenges, leadership training, team games, nature education, arts and crafts, outdoor cooking and more.
1775 Darby Creek Drive, Galloway, Ohio 43119
(614) 813-0351
boldcolumbus.org

Boys & Girls Clubs of Columbus

Serves youth ages 6 to 18 from all over Columbus. For a very low cost, the club provides members with access to after school programs (like tutoring, job-readiness and career preparation mentoring, STEM and more), gymnasiums, play areas, teen centers and libraries. They offer summer programs and scholarships available as well.

  • Administrative Offices
    1108 City Park Avenue, Columbus, Ohio 43206
    (614) 221-8830
  • J. Ashburn Jr. Clubhouse
    85 Clarendon Avenue, Columbus, Ohio 43223
    (614) 221-8830 ext. 203
  • KIPP Clubhouse
    2750 Agler Road, Columbus, Ohio 43224
  • Milo-Grogan Clubhouse
    1012 Cleveland Avenue, Columbus, Ohio 43201
    (614) 294-4366
  • Pheasant Run Clubhouse
    2680 Orono Pike, Reynoldsburg, Ohio 43068
  • R.I.S.E. Clubhouse
    68 East Second Avenue, Columbus, Ohio 43201
  • South Side Clubhouse
    280 Reeb Avenue, Columbus, Ohio 43207
    (614) 468-9299
  • UA/Metro Clubhouse
    1929 Kenny Road, Columbus, Ohio 43210
    (614) 221-8830 ext. 207
  • Westside Clubhouse
    115 South Gift Street, Columbus, Ohio 43215
    (614) 221-8830

bgccolumbus.org

Central Ohio Leadership Academy (COLA)

COLA is a 6-day leadership development experience for rising high school juniors and seniors in central Ohio. The free program is offered annually during the summer. All eligible students are encouraged to apply.
2080 Citygate Drive, Columbus, Ohio 43219
(614) 542-4102
coleadershipacademy.org

Central Ohio Youth for Christ City Life Center

Offers free faith-based programs for at-risk teens ages 16 to 18 in the Franklinton area. They provide free childcare to children of teen moms participating in online school program hours, transportation, as well as life skills training, career counseling, leadership groups and help for teen parents.
40 Chicago Avenue, Columbus, Ohio 43222
(614) 410-1898
coyfc.org

Central Ohio Youth for Christ Mentoring

Provides several free faith-based mentoring and guidance programs for youth in the Bexley, Franklinton, Reynoldsburg and Johnstown areas, as well as programs for youth who are incarcerated or face physical challenges.
3630 North High Street, Columbus, Ohio 43214
(614) 848-4870
coyfc.org

CHLOE (Community, Health, Life Skills, Opportunities & Education)

Provides mentoring and education services to pregnant and teen moms in Franklin County. Some of the classes they offer include: shaken baby prevention presentation, pregnancy and child birth education and safe sitter classes. They also provide childcare, study help and have a mini boutique, stocked with infant and toddler clothing, diapers, blankets, bedding, small equipment and other necessities needed to care for little ones.
PO Box 30241, Columbus, Ohio 43230
(614) 477-1426
chloeinc.org

Columbus Recreation & Parks City Leaders Program

Offers City of Columbus middle-school youth, ages 10-15, the opportunity to gain real life skills by working on projects and attending exciting events that will guide them towards becoming positive leaders in their communities. They meet different people and see different places throughout the city. Participants will need to be recommended by their principal, assistant principal or teacher in order to be considered.
1111 East Broad Street, Columbus, Ohio 43205
(614) 645-3330
columbus.gov/recreationandparks/programs/City-Leaders-Program

Columbus Urban League (CUL)

The Columbus Urban League (CUL) is a community‐based, non‐profit, advocacy organization that works to empower African Americans and marginalized groups through economic, educational and social progress with programs, classes and services. There initiatives fall under six categories:

  • Restoring Citizens
  • Keeping My Home
  • Growing Our Kids
  • Money & Mortgages
  • Jobs & Training
  • African American Male Initiative

788 Mount Vernon Avenue, Columbus, Ohio 43203
(614) 257-6300
cul.org

Community for New Direction (CND)

Their elementary and middle school youth programs include: Young Ambassadors for Peace (YAP) an anti-bullying, violence prevention and leadership development program for schools and a summer day camp. CND’s programs for older youth focus on leadership development, job readiness, secondary education and employment opportunities. Their high school youth programs include: a job readiness program titled Future Opportunities Created for Urban Students (FOCUS), intergenerational mentorship, an annual historically black college and university tour and a violence intervention program titled Application for Purpose Pride and Success (APPS). CND offers emergency support services on a case-by-base basis, parenting services and addiction counseling for adults.

  • 2323 West Fifth Avenue, Columbus, Ohio 43204 (Administrative Office)
    (614) 272-1464
  • 993 East Main Street, Columbus, Ohio 43205 (Near East Office)
    (614) 257-0305
  • 2096 West Mound Street, Columbus, Ohio 43223 (West Office)
    (614) 272-1464

cndonline.org

Dress for Success Columbus

Provides free interview and work-ready clothing, mentoring and career center resources (like professional development, computers with Microsoft software, printers and more) for Central Ohio women ages 15 and up. A referral is required to receive services.
1204 North High Street, Columbus, Ohio 43201
(614) 291-5420
dfscmh.org

D’Light House Family Center, Inc.

Connects students with caring, trained adults to create hope for the future. They provide mentoring and personal development programs for teens. They also strengthen families in the community by providing a support network of resources and meaningful experiences. Most of their programs and services are free, though some events have an admission fee. Their programs take place in schools, libraries and other venues for Franklin County youth and families.
(614) 376-8337
dlighthousefamilycenter.org

Expanding Visions

Offers career development service to teenagers preparing for success in the workforce, adults looking to further their careers and middle school students developing leadership skills that will propel them to successful careers. They also offer life coaching to help graduates along their career paths.
PO Box 245, Brice, Ohio 43109
(614) 804-6200
expandingvisions.net

Fountain of Restoration

Focuses on helping young ladies ages 11 to 18 develop a healthy and holistic self-image. Their Life Skills Program teaches self-esteem, self-worth, decision making, goal setting and relationship building.  They also offer mentoring and tutoring at various location in Franklin County.
(614) 427-3590
fountain-of-restoration.org

Gertrude Wood Community Foundation (GWCF)

GWCF promotes family stability and empowerment through educational, social and community-based services and affordable housing for youth and families living in the Driving Park Area and surrounding communities. They offer mentoring programs for youth ages 10-18, scholarships to graduating high school seniors, annual school supply giveaways, provide free fresh produce and food items, financial literacy classes, and more.
975 Bulen Avenue, Columbus, Ohio 43206
(614) 252-7456
gwoodfoundation.com

Godman Guild

Offer free adult education classes (like GED preparation, ESOL, job training, computer lab) with free childcare services and transportation, community engagement programs, health and wellness programs and services, and youth programming (like after school homework help, mentoring, summer programs, internships and career exploration).
303 East Sixth Avenue, Columbus, Ohio 43201
(614) 294-5476
godmanguild.org

Greater Hilltop Area Shalom Zone

Faith based, non-profit organization based in Columbus’ Hilltop community. Some of their programs include Hilltop teen club, teen free store, basketball at their gym, their no-cost Westside CDF (Children’s Defense Fund) Freedom School, mentoring program, produce distribution, free legal clinic and more.
1665 Harrisburg Pike, Columbus, Ohio, 43223
(614) 398-1230
hilltopshalomzone.org

I Am My Brother’s Keeper (IAMBK)

Engage 9-15 year-old boys of color from zip codes 43206 or 43207 whose families earn 200% of poverty or less. Offer fun, healthy safe experiences during the school year and throughout the summer, building academic, career, artistic, and physical strengths. Many activities overlap with Columbus Urban League initiatives, placing the young men in summer internships, hands-on digital learning opportunities, drug, alcohol and violence prevention activities and other initiatives based upon their individual needs.
33 West Eleventh Avenue, Columbus, Ohio 43201
(614) 247-1633
kirwaninstitute.osu.edu/mybrotherskeeper

I Know I Can (IKIC)

Offers a range of services for students in Columbus City Schools, to prepare them to enter and succeed in college. They also help with financial aid and scholarships.
1108 City Park Avenue, Columbus, Ohio 43206
(614) 233-9510
iknowican.org

Image Character Etiquette (ICE)

ICE is a free mentoring program created to provide young men of all nationalities with practical lessons and positive examples of how to navigate life. Through personal interactions with program mentors and real-world examples, they teach young men from grades 6th to 12th not only how to go through life, but how to live meaningful lives fueled by purpose and propelled by passion. They use interactive learning sessions and sporting events to carry out their mission.
PO Box 16805, Columbus, Ohio 43216
(614) 859-0423
icementors.org

Kaleidoscope Youth Center

Dedicated to supporting youth ages 12 to 20 who are lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender, and questioning. They offer a range of programs and activities, all of which are free, including discussion groups, social activities, leadership training and support for gay-straight alliances.
603 East Town Street, Columbus, Ohio 43215
(614) 294-5437
kycohio.org

Kicks for Kids Soccer Mentoring Program

Offers year-round soccer camps and health education for at-risk boys and girls ages 4 to 18. The cost is free, including uniforms and equipment.
340 North 20th Street, Columbus, Ohio 43203
(614) 258-4357
k4kwusa.org

Leaders Emerging & Developing (LEAD)

LEAD is a STEM education and financial literacy organization serving Franklin and Delaware County 3rd – 12th grade students. They offer programs including STEM clubs, leadership training, STEM camps, mentoring, as well as the E-STEM Chapters, which give K-12 grade students an opportunity to be exposed to STEM and business concepts to gain high positions in Corporate America, or to become entrepreneurs. Some services are free. Scholarships are available.
PO Box 361061, Columbus, Ohio 43236
(614) 407-6049
leademerging.org

LeaderSpark

With this free program, students in grades 8 to 12 can gain internship and community service hours for their time in the program and working on various community projects. There is also an opportunity for school credit with the new Columbus City Schools Flex Credit program. Students learn to be leaders in school and society.
1336 East Main Street, Columbus, Ohio 43205
(614) 442-7899
leaderspark.org

Lower Lights Ministries (LLM)

Faith-based organization that serves individuals, families and Franklinton community members. Services include:

1066 Bellows Avenue, Columbus, Ohio 43223
(614) 228-3855
lowerlights.org

Nationwide Children’s Hospital Connecting Families

Connecting Families is a hospital-wide family-to-family mentor program. Connecting Families reaches patients of all diagnoses to link them with a family who has been through a similar situation. Social workers often match families based on like diagnoses, similar treatment paths or life situations.
700 Children’s Drive, Columbus, Ohio 43205
(614) 722-6747
nationwidechildrens.org/connecting-families

Ohio State University (OSU) Extension

Works with families and children, farmers and business owners, community leaders and elected officials to build better lives, better businesses and better communities in Ohio. Many programs fall into four categories, including;

Franklin County Office: 530 West Spring Street, Columbus, Ohio 43215
(614) 866-6900
extension.osu.edu
Franklin County Extension: franklin.osu.edu

Ohio State University (OSU) LiFEsports

LiFEsports is a free youth development program dedicated to serving economically disadvantaged children in the Columbus community. Their programs include a sports summer camp for youth ages 9 to 15, a youth leadership academy preparing youth ages 15-18 for college and future careers and community-based sports clinics throughout the year. Transportation is free to all campers via buses.
2400 Olentangy River Road, Columbus, Ohio, 43210
(614) 688-3875
osulifesports.org

OhioGuidestone

Offers counseling services for early childhood mental health, maternal depression, psychiatric health, mentoring and foster care. They have a range of flexible and customized programs designed to address every aspect of self, family and community needs.

  • 195 North Grant Avenue, Columbus, Ohio 43215
    (888) 522-9174
  • 111 South Broad Street, Lancaster, Ohio 43130
    (614) 230-6049

ohioguidestone.org