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Thank you so much for your interest in becoming a mentor! You must be minimum 25y/o to be a mentor. Below is an overview of our mentoring program, a checklist of things to do, and an invitation to the next steps of this journey. If you have checked off other volunteer opportunities, a staff member will reach out to you accordingly.
About StepStones for Youth
StepStones for Youth is a registered charitable organization in Toronto in operation since 2004. We employ preventative intervention programming for vulnerable youth who have been involved in Ontario?s Child Protection Services. The young people we serve have significant histories of trauma, abuse, neglect, unstable guardian care, and are living in poverty. Our intended objectives for youth are to create positive and meaningful connections; increase school engagement, high school graduation, and post-secondary enrollment; and increase stable housing, mental and physical health, and strong circles of support. Meeting these objectives results in reduced homelessness, isolation, criminal involvement, and long-term dependency on social services.
The Youth Support Services Program (YSS)
The first of its kind in Ontario, StepStones? Youth Support Services (YSS) Program serves youth aged 15-24 who are in and transitioning out of the foster care and child welfare systems in Toronto. Our unique program combines the research backed benefits of mentorship with a scaffolded approach to assisting youth from foster care transition to healthy adult lives and achieve their full potential. With one-to-one mentorship a key component of our programming and a supportive StepStones youth worker, we give vulnerable youth the tools, guidance, and confidence required for health, stability, and success in the areas of housing, education and employment, mental health, and network development.
In alliance with StepStones? philosophy, the most efficient and effective way to reduce youth homelessness, poverty and high school dropout rates, is to address the needs and risk factors of youth who are at high-risk of becoming homeless before they experience it. The principle aim of this program is to help youth secure and maintain safe and stable housing, develop their support network of trusted adults and increase their educational attainment. With the support of their worker and mentor, youth are able to achieve these goals.
StepStones? Youth Housing and Mentorship Program achieves the following objectives:
preventing high-risk youth from become homeless;
meeting the basic needs of youth including food, clothing, and safety requirements;
helping youth develop an organic, long-lasting relationship with a responsible and motivating mentor and caregiver
foster mentoring relationships in which youth may develop confidence, build leadership and communication skills, as well as develop ties to their community.
preventing highschool drop-out and increasing educational success
Youth who are part of the StepStones YSS program are:
?aging-out? of foster care and group home system
Youth with little to no support in their lives.
The StepStones Youth Support Services Program, is looking for diverse energetic individuals (minimum 25y/o) who would like to mentor youth leaving foster care or group homes.
You will be asked to meet with a youth at least once every 2-3 weeks for approximately 3-4 hours at a time. A minimum three-year commitment is required (but we prefer it if you treat this as a lifelong commitment to the youth). During your meetups with your mentee, you may attend workshops put on by StepStones and/or engage in fun activities such as attending a movie, going for lunch, attending a festival, going ice skating, rock climbing, sports event and/or other low-cost activities in the city. During most sessions, the mentor and their mentee would be expected to work towards some of the goals created at the beginning of their union. Examples include resume writing, job search, registering for school, learning how to cook, connecting with services in the community, etc. During COVID, many of these activities have been adapted to an online format.
To become a mentor, you must be at least 25 years old. There is also a minimum 3 year time commitment although we hope these relationships become lifetime ones. If you meet the requirements and are still interested in becoming a volunteer mentor, please sign up here (link).
If you have any questions, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org