Margaret Stewart shows off a graduation card featuring her mentee, Champaign Central’s Terrykah Smith.

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For more than a decade, Margaret Stewart has been an enthusiastic participant in C-U One-to-One’s mentoring program, meeting weekly with Terrykah Smith to play board games, make greeting cards and discuss the news of the day.

She’s 91.

“It doesn’t matter how old you are,” she said. “It’s attitude that counts. If you’re accepting and interested, you can do it.”

Margaret attended this week’s Scholarship Banquet to accept an award on behalf of Smith, a recent Champaign Central graduate who considers her mentor “my support system, a great listener and motivator.”

Drawn to mentoring by a story in The News-Gazette, Margaret jumped in feet-first. Even a move to Windsor of Savoy didn’t interrupt her weekly visits. “I also learned a lot, too,” she said. “It was a two-way street.”

An avid volunteer since moving to Champaign in 1959, the mother of eight is thinking about cutting back — but just a smidge.

“I’m going to retire as a mentor,” she said, “but I’m not going to retire in finding something to do that will help the community. I still want to give back.”

Interested in mentoring? Contact Lauren Smith in Champaign ( or 217.351.3722) or Tom Howley in Urbana ( or 217.337.0853) to get started.

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