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.


God speed,

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!!