COVID-19 PROGRAM UPDATE:

We recognize the unique and long-term impact that social isolation and uncertainty can have on the mental health and well-being of young people.

In an effort to counteract these effects, BBBSY has been working hard to adapt existing services and develop new programs to ensure children and youth in our community still have access to the Mentors they need to get through this difficult time. 

See these new programs below.

Virtual Mentoring

Funded in part by the Government of Canada, Virtual Mentoring addresses the need for youth to feel engaged and connected while safely staying apart.  This program provides young people with virtual mentors with whom they can connect through phone, text, and video calling applications. Matches communicate regularly and have a weekly activity or task to work on together.  Each activity is specifically designed to promote connectedness and build a developmental relationship between mentee and mentor. The Virtual Mentoring program developed by BBBSY is a direct response to COVID-19 and the negative effects this global pandemic has had on society’s most vulnerable.  As such, matches are considered short-term and will last a maximum of 8 months.

These developmental relationships will:

  • Provide young people with a positive outlet to help them cope with these unprecedented times
  • Enhance the social circle of support for children and youth feeling isolated
  • Lead to increased social emotional competence, improved mental health, and enhanced educational engagement
  • Increase the likelihood of making healthier choices and decrease the likelihood of engaging in risk taking behaviours
  • Above all, make a difference while having fun

Thinking about being a Virtual Mentor?

  • Mentors must be at least 18 years old
  • Able to commit 1-2 hours per week until at least April 2021
  • Access to a video calling application such as Zoom or FaceTime with reliable internet connection
  • Would like to have fun and build a positive relationship with a child

Virtual Go Girls!

Virtual Go Girls! is a free group mentoring program for female-identified participants between the ages of 10-15. Facilitated by female-identified Mentors, participants are provided with the opportunity to engage in fun and interactive discussions and activities via Zoom. The program promotes physical activity, balanced eating, self-confidence, and stress management.

Virtual Go Girls! runs once a week for 8 consecutive weeks in groups of 8-10 participants.

The program strives to do the following:

  • Offer a network for female-identified participants to feel connected and build positive relationships with fellow participants and the Mentors
  • Promote female empowerment by encouraging awareness of core values, personal interests, strengths and attributes
  • Provide tools to support physical activity, balanced eating, positive self-esteem, and communication skills
  • Offer self-care strategies to promote wellness while reducing stress and anxiety in response to COVID-19
  • Encourage independent thinking, leadership skills and positive problem-solving abilities Offer guidance in establishing and maintaining friendships
  • Provide guidance in establishing and maintaining friendships
  • Above all, make a difference while having fun

Thinking about being a Virtual Go Girls Mentor?

  • Mentors must be female identified and approximately 18-30 years old
  • Able to commit 1-2 hours a week for 8 consecutive weeks
  • Able to facilitate at least 2 Virtual Go Girls!programs over the course of 12 months
  • Reliable internet access and ability to utilize Zoom
  • Not anticipating any major life changes that could impact a match (i.e. moving, change in employment, etc.)
  • Able to facilitate and engage a group of children virtually while having fun and building positive relationships

Virtual Game On!

Virtual Game On! is a group mentoring program for male-identified participants, between the ages of 10-15. Facilitated by male-identified Mentors, participants are provided with the opportunity to engage in fun and interactive discussions and activities via Zoom. The program promotes physical activity, positive nutrition, stress management, and building relationship skills.

Virtual Game On! runs once a week for 8 consecutive weeks in groups of 8-10 participants.

The program strives to do the following:

  • Offer a network for male-identified participants to feel connected and build positive relationships with fellow participants and the Mentors
  • Openly discuss current and pressing issues facing male-identifying youth through the lens of healthy living
  • Provide tools to support physical activity, positive nutrition, and communication skills
  • Offer self-care strategies to promote wellness while reducing stress and anxiety in response to COVID-19
  • Encourage independent thinking, leadership skills and positive problem-solving abilities
  • Provide guidance in establishing and maintaining friendships
  • Above all, make a difference while having fun

Thinking about being a Game On Mentor?

  • Mentors must be male identified and approximately 18-30 years old
  • Able to commit 1-2 hours a week during the school day for 8 consecutive weeks
  • Able to facilitate at least 2 Game On! programs over the course of 12 months
  • Not anticipating any major life changes that could impact a match (i.e. moving, change in employment, etc.)
  • Able to facilitate and engage a group of children while having fun and building positive relationships

Big Brothers Mentoring

The Big Brothers Mentoring program matches boys and young men with a uniquely suited male role model to talk to and share common interests with.  Through regular outings, a relationship is developed between the mentor and the mentee that is built on trust and consistency.  With the support of their volunteer mentors, children are able to increase their self-confidence, enhance social skills, and engage in new experiences within their community.

The Big Brothers Mentoring program requires two regularly scheduled outings a month of several hours each and a minimum of 1 year commitment.

The program strives to do the following:

  • Provide a role model and a friend for boys and young men
  • Promote the importance of staying in school and healthy relationships with family and peers
  • Instill trust and self-confidence in order to make healthy decisions
  • Encourage leadership skills and independent thinking
  • Above all, make a difference while having fun

Thinking about being a Big Brother Mentor?

  • Mentors must be at least 18 years old
  • Able to commit 3-4 hours weekly/bi-weekly for a minimum of 12 months
  • Not anticipating any major life changes that could impact a match (i.e. moving, change in employment, etc.)
  • Have a valid driver’s license, insurance, and access to a vehicle
  • Would like to have fun and build a positive relationship with a child

Big Sisters Mentoring

The Big Sisters Mentoring program matches girls and young women with a uniquely suited female role model to talk to and share common interests with.  Through regular outings, a relationship is developed between the mentor and the mentee that is built on trust and consistency.  With the support of their volunteer mentors, children are able to increase their self-confidence, enhance social skills, and engage in new experiences within their community.

The Big Sisters Mentoring program requires two regularly scheduled outings a month of several hours each and a minimum of 1 year commitment.

The program strives to do the following:

  • Provide a role model and a friend for girls and young women
  • Promote the importance of staying in school and healthy relationships with family and peers
  • Instill trust and self-confidence in order to make healthy decisions
  • Encourage leadership skills and independent thinking
  • Above all, make a difference while having fun

Thinking about being a Big Sister Mentor?

  • Mentors must be at least 18 years old
  • Able to commit 3-4 hours weekly/bi-weekly for a minimum of 12 months
  • Not anticipating any major life changes that could impact a match (i.e. moving, change in employment, etc.)
  • Have a valid driver’s license, insurance, and access to a vehicle
  • Would like to have fun and build a positive relationship with a child

Big Buddy Mentoring

The Big Buddy Mentoring program matches boys and young men with a uniquely suited female role model to talk to and share common interests with.  Through regular outings, a relationship is developed between the mentor and the mentee that is built on trust and consistency.  With the support of their volunteer mentors, children are able to increase their self-confidence, enhance social skills, and engage in new experiences within their community.

The Big Buddy Mentoring program requires two regularly scheduled outings a month of several hours each and a minimum of 1 year commitment.

Thinking about being a Big Buddy Mentor?

  • Mentors must be at least 18 years old
  • Female identified Mentors who are open to being matched with a Little Brother
  • Able to commit 3-4 hours weekly/bi-weekly for a minimum of 12 months
  • Not anticipating any major life changes that could impact a match (i.e. moving, change in employment, etc.)
  • Have a valid driver’s license, insurance, and access to a vehicle
  • Would like to have fun and build a positive relationship with a child

In-School Mentoring

The In-School Mentoring program matches children in grades 1 to 8 with a uniquely suited role model to talk to and share common interests with.  The mentor and mentee spend quality time together on school property. Through regular meetings, a relationship is developed that is built on trust and consistency.  With the support of their volunteer mentors, children are able to increase their self-confidence, enhance social skills, and improve school engagement.

The In-School Mentoring program requires one 60 minute meeting a week and a minimum of 1 year commitment.

The program strives to do the following:

  • Provide a role model and a friend for school-aged children
  • Promote the importance of staying in school and healthy relationships with family and peers
  • Instill trust and self-confidence in order to make healthy decisions
  • Encourage leadership skills and independent thinking
  • Above all, make a difference while having fun

Thinking about being an In-School Mentor?

  • Mentors must be at least 16 years old
  • Able to commit 1 hour week during the school day for a minimum of 12 months
  • Not anticipating any major life changes that could impact a match (i.e. moving, change in employment, etc.)
  • Would like to have fun and build a positive relationship with a child

Group Mentoring Programs

Go Girls! Healthy Bodies, Healthy Minds!

Go Girls! is a free group mentoring program that provides girls between 11 and 14 years old with the opportunity to participate in fun and interactive discussions and activities led by female mentors.  This program promotes active living, balanced eating, and building positive self-esteem – setting girls on a path to reach their full potential.

Go Girls! runs weekly for eight consecutive weeks within school facilities or out in the community.

The program strives to do the following:

  • Create appreciation for the benefits of an active, healthy lifestyle
  • Build an understanding of what constitutes healthy eating habits and the risks associated with eating disorders
  • Promote the importance of positive mental activity and regular physical exercise
  • Encourage awareness of core values, personal interests, strengths and attributes
  • Support the development of leadership and life skills
  • Offer guidance in establishing and maintaining friendships
  • Above all, make a difference while having fun

Thinking about being a Go Girls Mentor?

  • Mentors must be female identified and approximately 18-30 years old
  • Able to commit 1-2 hours a week during the school day for 8 consecutive weeks
  • Able to facilitate at least 2 Go Girls! programs over the course of 12 months
  • Not anticipating any major life changes that could impact a match (i.e. moving, change in employment, etc.)
  • Able to facilitate and engage a group of children while having fun and building positive relationships

Game On! Eat Smart, Play Smart, Live Smart

Game On! is a free group mentoring program that provides boys between 11 and 14 years old with the opportunity to participate in fun and interactive discussions and activities led by male mentors.  This program promotes physical activity, positive nutrition, and building relationship skills – providing boys the support they need to make healthy life choices.

Game On! runs weekly for eight consecutive weeks within school facilities or out in the community.

The program strives to do the following:

  • Openly discuss current and pressing issues facing boys and young men through the lens of healthy living
  • Build an appreciation for the benefits of healthy eating habits
  • Promote physical exercise through the use of non-traditional activities
  • Instill respect for socio-economic, ethno-cultural and racial diversity
  • Encourage leadership skills and independent thinking
  • Above all, make a difference while having fun

Thinking about being a Game On Mentor?

  • Mentors must be male identified and approximately 18-30 years old
  • Able to commit 1-2 hours a week during the school day for 8 consecutive weeks
  • Able to facilitate at least 2 Game On! programs over the course of 12 months
  • Not anticipating any major life changes that could impact a match (i.e. moving, change in employment, etc.)
  • Able to facilitate and engage a group of children while having fun and building positive relationships

Conversation Circle

Syrian newcomer youth thumbnail

Conversation Circle is a free group mentoring program that introduces newcomer youth to mentors who have a caring, flexible attitude and an interest in mentoring young people who are new to Canada. Funded through Ontario Trillium Foundation, this program promotes community awareness, cross-cultural understanding, peer relationships, and a sense of belonging.

Conversation Circle runs weekly for twelve consecutive weeks within school facilities or out in the community.

The program strives to do the following:

  • Practice English language skills in a safe, encouraging environment
  • Improve self-esteem through positive relationships with mentors and other group participants
  • Promote social integration and community engagement
  • Ease transition to school through shared experiences
  • Strengthen presentation skills in small teams
  • Above all, make a difference while having fun

Thinking about being a Conversation Circle Mentor?

  • Mentors must be at least 18 years old
  • Able to commit 1-2 hours a week during the school day for 12 consecutive weeks
  • Able to facilitate at least 2 Conversation Circle programs over the course of 12 months
  • Not anticipating any major life changes that could impact a match (i.e. moving, change in employment, etc.)
  • Able to facilitate and engage a group of newcomer youth while having fun and building positive relationships
  • Able to encourage inclusivity and promote diversity while enhancing English language skills of participants

Virtual Big Bunch

Virtual Big Bunch is a new group program designed to connect Mentees and Mentors in a fun and interactive way!  Each month a team of BBBSY Mentors and agency staff will facilitate a new online group activity over Zoom.  Participants will have the opportunity to join the activities that interest them, and skip the ones that don’t.  This group is open to children and youth on our waitlist and those already in matches.  Kids can attend on their own (with adult supervision/permission), with their Mentor (following Public Health guidelines), or with their Mentor virtually.  Mentors, see the registration button below to sign up.

This program will help us all get through the winter blues and will wrap up in April 2021, just in time for the warmer weather.

We have some exciting ideas planned and can’t wait to see you all there!  If you have an idea you think we should try, or if you have a special skill and would like to be a special guest for one of these Virtual Big Bunch nights, please contact Rachel.Pavan@bigbrothersbigsisters.ca