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I Am Abel Foundation - Donate and suppor
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I Am Abel Foundation offers three amazing mentoring opportunities for our future researchers and physicians.  They include the Urban Bridges Medical Mentoring Program, in partnership with Northwestern Medicine, the Urban Bridges Student Affiliate Program and new to the lineup, OrthoReach, an Orthopedic Surgery Pipeline Program in partnership with University of Chicago’s Orthopedic Surgery and Rehabilitative Medicine Department.  To learn more about each program, please visit the link describing that program in detail.

The I Am Abel Foundation Student Affiliate Program is designed for college and post-baccalaureate students from Chicago and the Chicagoland area who are away at school or benefit from a program with less of a time commitment. Their distance from Chicago makes Student Affiliates unable to take advantage of One-to-One Physician Mentoring as our physicians are typically Chicago based.  Student Affiliates are, however, scheduled for routine academic advising sessions with one of our physician advisors who can assess your academic standing and help you map out a strategy for successful matriculation into medical school. One on One physician mentoring is not a part of this program.  You will have access to our physician mentors,  however, if you participate in our Small Mentoring Circles, which are largely physician lead short courses that typically are not medically focused.  Also, the OrthoReach Program requires full participation in the mentoring program and is not available to student affiliates


The Urban Bridges Student Affiliate Program includes the following:

Affirmative Academic Advising

Our academic advising is affirmational.  We are committed to telling our students what they CAN do and HOW to do it. academic advising.JPG

Students have heard plenty of people tell them what’s not possible.  We won’t do that.  We will work with our students to identify their unique needs or barriers and develop a plan that makes sense for them.  After attending an Academic Advising Boot Camp, students will have the opportunity to meet one-on-one with a  physician advisor who will evaluate their academic standing and provide them with feedback on what steps to take next.  Each student will have two academic advising sessions annually but can meet more often if needed.

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Academic STEM Center

It is important to note that the road to becoming a great physician starts with being a great student.  There are no substitutes for that.  

While we inspire, encourage and believe in each of our students, we also fully understand that “faith without works is dead.” We therefore have an Academic STEM Center that is devoted to providing the resources that our students need from Organic Chemistry tutoring to MCAT Prep.  We are adding resources each year.  If you need help, you only need to ask.  If we can help, we will.

Small Mentoring Circles

One of the latest additions to the UBSA Program is the commencement of our Physician and Medical Student Lead Mentoring Circles. 


Students will have the opportunity to attend mostly physician led, small group mentoring sessions that cover a multitude of topics including an empathy series, MCAT bootcamp, self-care and mental health workshop, etc.   Mentoring Circles allow students to improve their emotional intelligence and interpersonal skills through team building and small group exercises.  It’s fun and low pressure.  Unlike Saturday Morning Professor, it is also optional.  I’m sure you will find several mentoring circles you’d like to join.

Urban Bridges Student Affiliate Program.

Summer Research, Health Policy and Clinical Immersion Programs

I Am Abel Foundation works hard at helping our students identify summer opportunities for Research, Clinical Immersion, MCAT Development and more.

Each year, I Am Abel foundation features a workshop that identifies a host of programs that our students are encouraged to apply to.  Some programs are working directly with us.  Other programs, like our CSIDPAR programs (Chicago Summer Institute for the Development of Physicians and Researchers) are sponsored by us, thus increasing your likelihood of identifying a stipend summer program that is just right for you.  All summer internships sponsored by I Am Abel Foundation are for our mentees only.

Annual Events and Conferences

UBSA mentees will have access to attend I Am Abel’s annual events and conferences including a summer picnic with SNMA and our physician mentors, a field trip to the Museum of Surgical Science, a summer book club, and much more! Mentees will also be invited to our annual gala where their matriculation into the program will be celebrated. 

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Side-by-Side Comparison of Components of Urban Bridges Medical Mentoring (UBMM) and Urban Bridges Student Affiliate (UBSA) Programs: academic adviisng.JPG

Urban Bridges Medical Mentoring Program (UBMM)

  • Saturday Morning Professor Lecture Series (required monthly cased based lectures)

  • One on One Physician Mentoring

  • OrthoReach Surgical Pipeline Program (open only to the Mentoring Program)

  • One-on-One Physician Mentoring

  • Affirmative Academic Advising

  • Academic STEM Center

  • Mentoring Circles

  • Summer Research

  • Annual Events and Conferences

*This program requires a significant but reasonable time commitment and is available to Chicago and Chicago area high school, undergraduate, and postbaccalaureate students.


Urban Bridges Student Affiliate Program (UBSA)

  • Affirmative Academic Advising  

  • Academic STEM Center

  • Mentoring Circles

  • Summer Research

  • Annual Events and Conferences

*This program requires less of a time commitment and is available to undergraduate and postbaccalaureate students (NO high school students) who will be away at school during the academic year. 

  • How much does each program cost?
    The value of the mentoring program is $5-7K annually depending on level of participation but is provided to our scholars free of charge primarily due to the generous support and countless volunteer hours of our physician leadership and volunteer staff.
  • Why would a student pick the Student Affiliate Program over the Urban Bridges Medical Mentoring Program?
    The Affiliate program is for for collegiate and post-baccalaureate students who are not in Chicago and are not able to attend Saturday Morning Professor and other in person events Ideal for students who need less of a time commitment due to other obligations Ideal for students who want to test the waters before becoming a full-fledged mentee in the Urban Bridges Medical Mentoring Program.
  • Is there an option for lateral entry into the Urban Bridges Medical Mentoring Program?
    Yes, after successfully finishing a year of the Student Affiliate Program you may apply for the Mentoring Program



Welcome to the first step on being selected as a mentee for the I am Abel Foundation Urban Bridges Student Affiliate Program.

The application will take about 15 mins to complete, please be advised that you must have your complete documents before beginning the application. 

After submitting your application, selected students will be invited for an interview by the Admission Director. The interview session will last for about 30mins with a panel of at least 3 interviewers consisting of the Admission coordinator, Student coordinator, and may include one medical faculty. 

***Parents of High school students or students less than 18 years old are required to fill the parent section of this application and also attend the interview session with the student.***

The application requirements include;


  • Must be a rising sophomore or above in college, college graduate or post baccalaureate student.

  • Minimum GPA 2.75 

  • A brief personal statement of 1000 words or less telling us why you would like to be a part of our student Affiliate program.

  • A professional photograph

  • A copy of your academic transcript 

  • Must be willing to attend an interview session with the Admission team

  • Must be willing to fully participate in the program for at least a year, attend the orientation, and be actively involved in the mentoring circles.

If you have any difficulty uploading a photo or file (i.e. photo, transcripts, etc.),  email those items attached to an email to the attention of  In the subject, write "Application Documents For Urban Bridges Student Affiliate Program"



To support or sponsor a very deserving scholar please donate.



I Am Abel Foundation Mentors. Learn more
I Am Abel Foundation Mentors. Learn more

A word from the OBAMA FOUNDATION

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