The Board of Directors of the Urbana Neighborhood Connections Center is excited to welcome the Center’s new Executive Director, Jeniece Mitchell.
Jeniece, a graduate of Urbana High School, also holds a B.S. in Education and an M.S. in Technology from Eastern Illinois University. She is a candidate for an Ed.D. in Education Policy, Organization and Leadership with a concentration in Diversity and Equity from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.
Ms. Mitchell is currently a sixth grade teacher at Franklin STEAM Academy in Champaign. In late July, she will become the Parent & Community Liaison for Unit 116, a position formerly held by her mother, the late Janice Mitchell.
Jeniece has received numerous awards, most recently the “Shining Star Award” from the Champaign-Urbana Schools Foundation. She is a member of Zeta Phi Beta sorority and Altrusa International of Champaign-Urbana.
No stranger to UNCC, Jeniece has volunteered at the Center for many years, educating and assisting the children and leading them in song. She is dedicated to enhancing the educational experience for the community’s children and helping them to be successful in life.
To honor her mother, Jeniece, her father Danny and her brother Everette, recently established the “Janice Mitchell Achieving Excellence Scholarship” which was awarded for the first time in June, 2022.
According to Dr. Francis Ihejirika, president of the Board of Directors, “We are pleased to have Jeniece Mitchell join the Center as the Executive Director. An outstanding leader and educator, Jeniece will continue the legacy of her mother, Janice Mitchell, who founded the Center and guided the young people who come the Center to be successful students and citizens. With Jeniece, the future of the Center is very bright.”
From the Board of Directors of the Urbana Neighborhood Connections Center
It is with profound sorrow that we acknowledge the passing of Janice Mitchell.
Janice was the founder, Executive Director, and guiding light of Urbana Neighborhood Connections Center.
Janice, a native of Natchitoches, LA, came to Urbana in 1988 after earning her Master’s degree from the University of Chicago School of Social Service Administration and we are all the better for it. A community servant with a special interest in helping to improve the lives of local African American children, she worked at Cunningham Children’s Home, the Mental Health Center of Champaign County (now Rosecrance), and was currently the Parent and Community Outreach Liaison for Urbana School District 116.
Through that work, she recognized that many children needed additional academic and other support services beyond those provided by the schools. In partnership with the Housing Authority of Champaign County and with the support of the City of Urbana, Urbana School District, United Way, and the Community Foundation of East Central Illinois, Janice and her husband, Danny, transformed an unused warehouse into a vibrant human service facility located at 1401 E. Main Street in Urbana.
On January 19, 2010, Urbana Neighborhood Connections Center was created and has expanded their operations to include programs for parents and families. Through the Center’s After School Study Center, the Digital Learning Lab, the Summer Enrichment Camp and the College & Career Readiness programs, hundreds of UNCC children have excelled, become more successful students, and gone on to college…and had fun in the process.
Janice had the rare ability to create passion for her work in students, parents, volunteers, and funders. She created numerous partnerships and friends. The entire community mourns the loss of a courageous, selfless, and fearless servant leader.
Our sympathies go out to her husband, Danny, and her two children.
Thank you, Janice, for giving yourself to the children and families of our area.
Francis Ihejirika, MD, president, UNCC Board of Directors
Where our youth will grow, our parents will help, and our community will share
The Urbana Neighborhood Connections Center plays a vital role in the lives of more than 50 unique and talented K-12 students in Urbana public school District #116.
Every school day, from the time the school bell rings until 5:30pm, each UNCC learner is provided a nutritious meal, help with their homework from staff and peer mentors and the opportunity to participate in a wide array of enrichment activities, including cutting-edge digital literacy education programming as well as exposure to role models from the community. We realize that many of our children come from some of the most underserved neighborhoods in our town and make it our mission to bridge both gaps in academic achievement and social inclusion.
We know our mentors and dedicated staff inspire and prepare children to create lives full of choices. They engage children creatively, emotionally, intellectually and physically, empowering them to explore and discover the opportunities in their lives.
Join these organizations in supporting our kids!
Contributions go to Urbana Neighborhood Connections Center and are tax deductible. We are only interested in monetary donations at this time. Thank you!!