about us

The Mentoring Partnership & Resource Center (MPRC) was launched in March 2015 to expand the mentoring field’s regional capacity to reach more school-aged children with caring, committed adult mentors, using best practices, training and professional support to achieve lifelong positive educational and behavioral outcomes for youth.  The MPRC is an intermediary that provides leadership and peer support to dozens of community-based youth mentoring organizations throughout Eastern PA.

MPRC is a hub of idea generation and collaboration to guide the growth of the mentoring field in Southeastern PA.  This is achieved through four main pillars of service:


Training and Technical Assistance
The MPRC develops training programs that increase participant’s knowledge and skills related to mentoring; including topical seminars related to mentoring innovations and best practices. The MPRC also provides technical support to improve areas of organizational performance such as communications, volunteer recruitment, evidence-based practices, data collection, and staff development.
Stakeholder Engagement

The MP facilitates a mentoring organization network that operates as a peer-to-peer learning and interaction platform. Mentor Network participants benefit from opportunities for networking, professional development, and community engagement. The Mentor Network provides ample opportunities for learning and collaboration, and strengthens the collective impact of mentoring in our region.


The MP monitors legislative initiatives, and public policy/programmatic developments relevant to youth mentoring, and engages partners in strategic advocacy and public awareness campaigns.

Data Collection
The MPRC takes the lead in creating a database of information documenting the size, scope, and programmatic characteristics of mentoring in the region. This information improves the effectiveness of advocacy, public relations, and fundraising efforts by providing a definition of the field’s reach and impact. Strong data collection facilitates these efforts, and allows the MPRC to strategically serve the needs of regional youth mentoring organizations.

The MENTOR Independence Region is an affiliate of MENTOR: The National Mentoring Partnership and powered by Big Brothers Big Sisters Southeastern PA.

mprc-fact-sheet-crop    Download MENTOR IR’s Fact Sheet

our mission

To strengthen the youth mentoring field through collaboration, training and technical assistance, data collection, and advocacy.

our vision

For all children and youth to have access to supportive mentors who can help them achieve their dreams.

major new initiative

Largest mentoring organization in the region unveils Mentoring Partnership & Resource Center

read more

our team

Abigail Ellis

Abigail Ellis

Executive Director


B.A., Sociology, The Pennsylvania State University
M.S.W., Temple University

Abigail Ellis joined the Mentoring Partnership & Resource Center in 2015.  She is responsible for setting the strategic direction, overseeing all operations and garnering resources and support for the Mentoring Partnership & Resource Center.  Prior to joining the MPRC, Ellis led the Campaign for Mentoring (a.k.a. Greater Philadelphia Mentoring Partnership) at United Way of Greater Philadelphia and Southern New Jersey, as well as efforts in data and outcomes and operational support.  Ellis is also a 12 year veteran of Big Brothers Big Sisters Southeastern PA, starting the first school-based mentoring program in 1999 and most recently supporting the organization in Research and Evaluation.  Ellis is a graduate of Temple University School of Social Administration, earning her Masters in Social Work.  Ellis also received a BA in Sociology from Penn State University.

Judith D. Spangler

Judith D. Spangler

Chief Program Officer, Big Brothers Big Sisters Southeastern PA


B.S. in Social Work, Brigham Young University

Judy Spangler has been part of the Big Brothers Big Sisters network since 1997 and was pivotal in helping navigate the multi-agency merger in 2002, from which the Big Brothers Big Sisters Southeastern PA (BBBS SEPA) agency was formed. Prior to the merger Spangler spent three years as the Executive Director of Big Brothers Big Sisters of Chester County, as well as a year as the Director of Program Services for Big Sisters of Philadelphia. Post merger she assumed the new role of Vice President, Recruitment and Retention and since then, has grown to assume responsibility for all of BBBS SEPA’s program services as the agency’s Chief Program Officer and Executive Team member.  Spangler oversees all programmatic endeavors, including the Mentoring Partnership & Resource Center.

Unique Saunders

Unique Saunders

Manager, Technical Assistance & Quality


BA in Journalism/Creative Writing

Master in Public Administration (MPA)

Unique Saunders joined the Mentoring Partnership & Resource Center in June 2016. She is responsible for the implementation of our Technical Assistance service, helping build the capacity of our mentoring programs partners. She will also support the MPRC’s advocacy, data collection and stakeholder engagement efforts. Saunders recently earned her Master’s in Public Administration, and has experience as Director of Admissions for a private school in Philadelphia and in community outreach for a social service program in Seattle, Washington with a mission to move people from poverty to self-sufficiency. Unique started mentoring in Big Brothers Big Sisters a decade ago and has worked with several mentoring programs over the years, including the College Success Foundation in Seattle and the McNamee Scholars Program in Philadelphia.

Adelaide Moschler

Adelaide Moschler

Manager of Learning & Development


BA in Political Science

Adelaide Moschler joined the Mentoring Partnership & Resource Center in 2015. She has worked for Big Brothers Big Sisters Independence Region since 2013. Adelaide has worked in the learning and development field since 2009 and has worked in the nonprofit social services field since 2005. Adelaide served as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Mali, West Africa from 2003 to 2005. She earned a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from Appalachian State University in 2002. Adelaide was born and raised in the Southern United States and has been living and working in Philadelphia since 2007.


In her role as Manager of Learning & Development, Adelaide is responsible for the implementation of our trainings for mentors and mentoring programs. The goal of MPRC trainings is to help build the capacity and quality of mentoring programs and increase the quality of mentors in our region.

the need for mentoring


Only 52% of youth were employed during the summer of 2014.

In southeastern PA (five counties) more than 7200 youths aged 16-19 are disconnected from school and work.

Source: 2013 ACS 5 yr est

In 2013 more than 20,000 Pennsylvania students did not graduate high school in four years as planned.

Source:  Kids Count Data Center