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Mentoring: Being a Catalyst for Change

“Two years ago, one of our YSM community members was facing a lot of struggles, especially related to employment,” shared Gerald, YSM’s Volunteer Coordinator and our mentorship program lead.

“They were moving from one minimum wage job to another, and were about to be evicted from their home.”

“During that time YSM matched them with a mentor. The two met and talked frequently about various challenges and how best to work through them. Eventually, the community member took some courses to study web development and recently got a stable job at a big company. Mentorship really helped enable the community member to see possibilities – personally and professionally – which they weren’t able to clearly see first-hand before.”

At YSM, we know relationships are a crucial component in one’s journey out of poverty, and for those without a network of support, having a positive relationship can make a life-changing impact.

The mentorship program at YSM serves to support mentees working to reach their goals by connecting them with mentors who can offer a positive and encouraging relationship.

“Mentors can act as a sounding board for mentees. They can help provide new insights and perspectives for solving problems.

They can provide templates for positive relationships and healthy boundaries,” Gerald explains. 

On the other side, mentors learn equally from their mentees. “Many mentors tell me how encouraged they are by their mentees’ resilience and motivation.”

While there are many benefits to mentorship, the greatest impact Gerald continues to see is on a mentee’s self-perception. “When someone invests time to get to know you, recognizes your strengths and potential, and celebrates your achievements, you see yourself as someone who is capable of changing both yourself and the world around you.”

“I have seen mentees overcome barriers and obstacles with the encouragement of their mentor.”

Interested in becoming a mentor? Learn more about about volunteering opportunities at YSM or contact

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Feeling inspired? We’re inviting the city of Toronto to GIVE 6IX to “the Six” in any way, from anywhere, to help change the lives of neighbours struggling with poverty . . .

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