When I joined I was unemployed, dropped out of high school, hanging around with the wrong crowd and was getting arrested. I was not attending any counselling for family issues and the things that I was struggling with. I did not have any adult role models in my life. Now, I am looking forward to graduating from high school, going to George Brown College for culinary arts and eventually run my own business
Our Mentoring Program offers youth aged 15-24 the opportunity to develop critical life skills. By pairing youth with caring adult volunteers, youth can identify and learn life skills. Mentors support youth by exposing them to new opportunities.
Mentors help youth learn how to interact with potential employers and landlords, develop their confidence and appropriateness in day to day interactions, support them in getting back into school, attend or drive the youth to counselling, attend meetings, make appointments and do activities together to explore employment options such as job shadowing.
Youth can have individual sessions with their mentors and organized workshops that focus on recreation and skills development (self care, housing, education, employment, money, transportation, choosing friends).
The goal of the program is to create natural, long-lasting supportive relationships with responsible adults who can help youth make good life choices. Mentors become substitute aunts and uncles; someone a kid can turn to if they have a bad day.
For more information, call 416-893-5196.
Goals for the Youth in Transition Mentorship
- Create a lasting natural connection to an older member of the youths community which can increase opportunities for youth, increase exposure to alternative lifestyles and support change
- Increase educational attainment (high school and post secondary) and employability
- Increase stable housing
- Increase support networks for youth
Meet the Youth in Our Program
The following testimonials have been written by youth who are in the spirit program. We asked them to write a little bit about themselves and their experiences. This is what they wrote.
My name is Jess and I am attending my second year at Seneca College in the Business diploma program. I became involved with StepStones when I was 12 years old at which time I attended summer camp. After attending for 4 years, I started working there as well and volunteering in the year round arts program. In the last 2 years, I joined the SPIRIT program and was provided with a mentor to support my educational attainments and life choices. I continue to work at the summer camp, and volunteer in different capacities. For the last two years, I have also had the privilege of receiving the Ross Caradonna Pelletier Scholarship which has paid for 60% of my tuition. Because of this support I will be finishing my diploma in 2014 and hopefully, following this, attending University.
With the support of the SPIRIT program, my mentor, tutoring and the scholarship that I received, attending school has been possible for me. I would not have had all this support without the SPIRIT program As a result, I am able to focus on my studies, which allows me to meet all of my educational goals. I am presently in school to attain a degree in Child and Youth Work. I am presently working for the school board. I hope to use this education to become a better support to the thousands of kids that I will encounter in the field. It will make it possible for me to support the children in the Regent Park community so that they will have the opportunities that I did
My name is David and I joined the SPIRIT program not knowing what it would be like. When I joined I was unemployed, had dropped out of high school, was hanging out with the wrong crowd and was getting arrested. I was not attending any counseling for family issues and things that I was struggling with and I did not have adult role models in my life. [Now] I am looking forward to graduating from high school and going to George Brown College for culinary arts, and eventually own my own business. I really appreciate all the support that has been given to me.