« Back

Meet Abigail and Elli: Sisters and YSS Mentors


Abigail and Elli Jennings are sisters. Born and raised in Ames, both women attended Iowa State University. They both obtained their real estate license. And today, they both work at the family business: the Jennings Real Estate Team.

Additionally, Abigail and Elli both wanted to do more for their community. That’s when they connected with YSS.

Elli explained that their office has long supported YSS by sponsoring Reggie’s Sleepout, an annual event to raise awareness for youth homelessness, and by hosting a YSS Giving Tree each year during the holidays to gather essential supplies for YSS programs.

“I wanted to give back in some way, especially to youth,” Elli says. “I knew about YSS when I was growing up, and my office was really involved. So YSS was the first thing that came to mind when I wanted to give back.”

Elli and Abigail decided to volunteer for YSS and applied for the YSS Mentoring Program. For over 30 years, YSS Mentoring has matched children with role models to create positive and consistent relationships. School-based mentors, like Elli and Abigail, meet with their mentees over lunch or recess to play games, eat together, or talk about each other’s interests.

Abigail and Elli meet with their mentees each Wednesday at local elementary schools during the academic year.

Elli says her mentee is a “happy-go-lucky gal” and looks forward to the days when Elli visits. Abigail explains her mentee loves their conversations. “I’m a friend to my mentee,” says Abigail. “I’m someone she can have fun with and talk to about anything.”

Abigail and Elli are hoping to continue mentoring in the fall. They are both grateful to YSS for bringing their mentees into their lives, and they hope their story will inspire more people to sign up to be mentors in the future.

“I want her to be confident in herself,” Abigail says about her mentee. “I remind her why she is so great because that type of thinking develops so young. At the end of the day, I just want to be someone she can rely on.”

“I feel like many of the world’s problems stem from what people go through in their childhood by no fault of their own,” Elli adds. “We need role models out there to provide resources for kids in need.”

Other News

See all News