Urban Mentors began about 15 years ago in an East Oakland living room, with several teenage girls and a young woman who wanted them to have a safe place to learn and grow into active, engaged leaders in their community. In 2009, we officially chose the name Urban Mentors Network to reflect the three goals that guide our organization:


  • To provide consistent, long-term, faith-inspired mentoring through small groups and one-on-one interactions.
  • To empower youth and families to create positive change in their communities through leadership and service.
  • To increase the network of positive adults and resources to which our youth have access.


Who we serve

Most of Urban Mentors’ youth live in the neighborhoods of East Oakland. Our recruitment has always been organic – neighbors and friends inviting one another – and as such, our youth come from many different schools, family and church backgrounds. We currently provide consistent, ongoing mentoring to 50 youth, while some of our events attract upwards of 100 families.


What does “faith inspired” mean?

We call Urban Mentors “faith inspired” because the program began and continues to grow out of a sense of Christian calling to serve our neighbors and those in need among us through our love and action. But faith, or “Christian behavior” is not a pre-requisite to be a part of our community. Everyone belongs at Urban Mentors, and we focus on activities and learning opportunities that help bring out the divine purpose in everyone, not on specific Christian teaching or evangelization.