Please navigate through this interactive orientation to lead you to the mentoring options that fit best with your lifestyle, schedule, experience and personal preferences.
Please make notes as you go, as several different options for programs will be listed depending on the choices you make.
After you have completed the interactive orientation, you can complete the form below to fill out your inquiry. Based on your program of interest(s) you will be contacted with all the available options for you.
If you’d rather chat with us online please visit our Facebook Page and send us a message through Facebook Messenger. We will be happy to assist you with finding programs. If you’re still not quite ready, like our Facebook Page so you can be the first to receive news and information about all the various options and partner programs.
(please note – this is in beta version and will be updated over time)
Mentors come from all walks of life. Often, people think that in order to be a mentor they need to be perfect, or know more, or have accomplished more. They doubt they are someone to ‘look up to.’ What children and youth really require is someone who:
* can show up for them in a consistent way and be fully present with them
* empathize with them
* create memories with them
* attend their concerts and events and cheer them on
* be fun and playful
* have a ‘we can find out together’ approach to learning
* pay close attention to them to show them they are being seen
* listen, listen and then listen!
* ask questions to generate conversation
* model a curious attitude to life and learning
* model respect
* encourage awareness of systemic adversities and be committed to a just society
* encourage critical thinking and problem-solving
* see their strengths and abilities and mirror those back to them
* interact with others with kindness and consideration
Mentors may have walked a hard road to get where they are today, or perhaps have had the privilege of encountering few barriers. There is no perfect mentor. Some mentors are ready for a one to one relationship with a youth immediately, while others require some additional preparation and support. There are programs to suit every experience level, and every time commitment.
One thing is certain, there are hundreds if not thousands of young people in Winnipeg waiting on formal waiting lists. If you know the people who made you who you are today, please consider making the choice to be that person for someone else, today.
YOU can be part of a community movement to bring back more face to face play into childhood. There has never been a time when youth mentoring was more necessary or more crucial.
Years ago, children spent much more time in unstructured, unsupervised play. Children were given more freedom and independence to explore the environment, and learn by experience. Over time, there has been a shift toward time spent on screens, time spent in structured activities, and less free play. Many children are not allowed to go outside and play by themselves anymore. This isn’t because children have changed.
Socially, we seem to be more isolated, more at risk of mental health issues, and more tethered to screens than ever before. Opportunities to connect with others in a positive and meaningful way seem more scarce, and those who live in poverty or facing marginalization are often more isolated from opportunities. A relationship with someone like you could mean the chance to play a new game, to visit a new place, or to explore a new idea. Relationships create possibilities.
And let’s not forget the benefits to the mentor too! While you may think mentoring outcomes are entirely about the young person, research on mentors shows us mentoring often has reciprocal benefits for the mentor too. Those researched indicated they were happier, felt more optimistic about the world, and experienced increased feelings of purpose than prior to becoming a mentor.
Spending time with children, laughing, feeling engaged with another person in your community breaks down barriers, reduces isolation, and improves everyone’s quality of life. It promotes solidarity and connection to one of the most necessary aspects of our human experience: connection. So what are you waiting for?