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Youth Mentor


Sparking enthusiasm in education and career, 130% more likely to attain leadership positions, and recovery from abuse and trauma. These are some of the life-changing impacts a mentor can make on a mentee’s life. Your interest to become a mentor has the potential to be the beginning of someone else’s positive life trajectory. All we ask more than your time and commitment is compassion, and your openness to learn from us on how to be an effective mentor.

The youth mentee age 16 – 24 will go through the challenging journey of finding employment, preparing for tense interviews, receiving rejection letters, maintaining employment, and all the other challenges involved in a competitive job market.

Your tangible mission as a mentor is to support the mentee in their journey towards their career goals in the next 6 months – 1 year.   Your most important task as a mentor is to build a trusting mentoring relationship with your mentee that will serve as a space for connection, companionship, celebration, and most of all, empowerment of your mentee. Your role also includes: 

  • Providing a consistent and secure mentoring relationship
  • Help process emotions of your mentee 
  • Role modelling
  • Providing encouragement
  • Be a listening ear 
  • Supporting the goals of your mentee 
  • Providing a long term perspective to your mentee 
  • Recognize and celebrate the success of your mentee 
  • Communicate regularly at least once a month with YSM staff 
  • Commitment for one year of mentoring relationship and meet with your mentee for 2 -4 times per month 

What does it take to be a mentor?

  • Strong capacity for empathy and perspective taking 
  • Able to shelve their own agenda in favour of the needs of their mentee 
  • Patience and perseverance in building a mentoring relationship 
  • Mature and have overcome challenges in life 
  • Have a strong interest in the development of their mentee 
  • Willingness to attend mentor training and learn with YSM and from other mentors
  • Able to demonstrate healthy boundaries and respect their mentee’s boundaries 

A firm minimum 1-year commitment – non-negotiable. If you anticipate any inkling of any life change that would make you unable to make this level of commitment we would ask that you not pursue this important role. Nothing crashes a youth’s world more than someone letting them down. Thank you for understanding.

 What are the benefits of a mentor? 

  • Increase of their own self-confidence,
  • A deeper understanding of the complexity of poverty in Toronto through the experience of the mentee
  • Opportunity to further develop leadership, professional modelling, interpersonal, and supportive skills
  • The joy of witnessing the qualitative transformation of your mentee through your mentoring 

During COVID-19, mentor meetings may be  limited to virtual meetings, phone calls and text. 

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