Our mentoring specialists can refer you to a program offering one to one matches in both the community, and in schools. The time commitment for this program is generally a few hours, 2-4 times a month, for a year, or one hour a week in a school for an academic year.
There is always a need for mentors who can make a long-term commitment in a one to one match. These relationships can be truly transformational. Outcomes of quality mentoring relationships transform lives and communities.
There are also programs that serve members of communities that have been marginalized, and need mentors from within the community to give youth the support and understanding they require: Indigenous mentors, LGBTTQ2IA* mentors, mentors with lived newcomer experience, are all desired by programs to better reflect the diversity of mentees.
Right now, we have group programs running at schools, clubs, and activity centres. While staff plan and run the program, many youth in these programs are in dire need of more concentrated attention and relationship. We can get you started in a safe, supervised, and extremely fun context - both short-term and longer term.
(currently not active due to Covid - inquire about virtual options!)
Group mentoring offers a chance to support youth and build relationships with others. Often, these programs have a specific focus such as homework help, learning music together, learning to cook, doing art, or exploring ideas about self-esteem and identity, yoga, or creative writing. There are many different programs in this category! (short-term and long term)
Big Brothers Big Sisters of Winnipeg is launching new virtual group programs - LEAP, a tutor/mentor homework program runs weekly for one hour a week.
Because we did not become who we are, alone
Mentoring involves a relationship between two people (usually younger/older but not always.). It involves providing time, attention, activities, and conversation; all interactions crucial to the younger, developing mind.
Who we are as individuals is influenced by a number of social factors, including both adverse and positive experiences. Some stress is important, but too much stress and uncertainty can create toxic stress and become a barrier to mental, emotional and physical health. Over time, research on human development has helped us understand the assets and the risks required to thrive; to become a person who can keep going in the face of challenging times, and often accomplish remarkable things in the face of hardship and become change-makers.
Decades of research now shows that social relationships are crucial for our health, not only as young people, but throughout our entire lives. The support of our friendships, parents, partners, and mentors help us nurture the strength to resist and overcome adversities and make choices that positively influence oneself and future.
We are gaining more knowledge all the time that mental health issues, addiction, and conduct issues almost always trace back to people who have not had the privileges of social belonging or a feeling of mastery. These two fundamental domains – of feeling like part of a group, and have a particular skill and ability to share with others are the cornerstones of health.