The YOUCAN Mentoring Program (YMP) works with at-risk elementary school youth between the ages of 9 and 12 and focuses on teen to child mentorship, while also incorporating the YOUCAN Peacebuilder/Junior Peacebuilder programs. In Edmonton, our program works with Aboriginal youth.
Each child Mentee is matched with a volunteer teen Mentor from a local high school. The Mentee and his or her Mentor meet for one hour each week in the school setting, over the course of the entire school year. This allows the pair to get to know each other, develop a trusting relationship, have fun, and work towards their personal and relationship goals. Once a month, all the Mentors and Mentees meet for a day of peer support, skills development, YOUCAN Peacebuilder training, outdoor play and other fun activities out in the community.
· To provide kids ages 9 to 12 with a positive, stable, consistent role model;
· To help Mentees and Mentors develop confidence, self-esteem and respect through a trusting and caring relationship;
· To train the Mentors and Mentees in YOUCAN’s Peacebuilder program to develop conflict resolution skills, explore attitudes and beliefs towards violence, and in some cases, influence behaviour in a positive way.
The parents/guardians of both the Mentees and Mentors are also provided the opportunity to take part in YOUCAN workshops where they can acquire the knowledge and ability to support and reinforce the skills their children are learning, related to mentoring and conflict resolution.
Mentoring relationships have been shown to lead to positive effects for the Mentees, including: increasing confidence, self-esteem and respect; developing more positive attitudes, values and beliefs; developing the capacity to make positive choices; improving pro-social behaviour, attendance in school and academic achievement; and developing the ability to think constructively and positively about the future. Mentors can also experience benefits, including improved confidence, and listening, communication and leadership skills.
This project is partially funded through the Government of Canada's National Crime Prevention Strategy.
For a printable version of Youth Mentoring Program click here.