From time to time, we all need a hand. Not only in everyday activities, but sometimes for career advice, educational challenges, and for life-changing events.
Mentorship at CHV
The Mentorship Program at CHV was launched in November of 2015.
At CHV, mentorship looks very differently for every individual. Youth are matched with a mentor based on what the youth requests. They may ask for a supportive adult role model, they might get matched based on a hobby or interest, youth may want to be mentored from a career perspective, or youth could be matched with a mentor based on multiple interests.
Each match is expected to be sustained and supported for a minimum of one year. Many matches continue past one year and will only be closed once a mentee ages out of CHV services.
The program usually averages between 12–20 matches at one time and continues to recruit throughout the year.
This last fiscal year (July 2022– June 2023), there were 19 youth served in the program — 11 new matches were created and 8 were maintained from the previous fiscal year.
Number of hours the mentees met their mentors, per month:
- Average direct contact time: 2 hours and 32 minutes
- Average indirect contact time: 2 hours and 27 minutes
- “Being able to talk about my feelings about my process in developing my social skills with them [mentor], without the fear of being judged.”
- “My mentor has motivated me to stay fit and workout, even with just a walk.”
- “Being more open and positive in a tough situation.”
- “Building confidence in me more than [I had] before.”
This last fiscal year, we did not receive as many mentor applications, as we are continued to match mentors that applied previously and are more trained and experienced to support the mentees in the program. We also did not recruit for a few months, due to the pandemic.
This last fiscal year, there were 20 mentors in the program — 10 new mentors that were recruited, screened, trained, and matched, seven returning mentors, and three mentors who had completed the one-year match with youth, who were matched with three new youth. There were also five mentors who had completed an additional year with their mentees and carried that match over to this last fiscal year.
On average, mentors volunteered 1.5 – 5 hours per month and 200 – 250 hours in total, for the fiscal year. These totals include meetings with the mentees, training, and social events.
What motivates the mentors to keep engaging with their mentees:
- “Making a positive difference.”
- “I just really like this young person and I want to see them succeed.”
- “Building the relationship and ability to support my mentee in working on her goals.”
- “What motivates me is the realization of my life’s purpose: to serve, empower, and enhance the lives of children and youth everywhere. Connection and genuine care for the mentee.”
What Mentors have learned from the youth they support:
- “Patience, respect for, and acceptance of, where someone is at. Learning from my mentee, a young immigrant/refugee with an ambition to enter into a healthcare profession education program.”
- “I have learned so much about boundaries and challenges facing the youth and how to support others with care and communication.”
- “I have learned that simply believing in your mentee can make all the difference.”
Thank you, Mentors!
There’s no one right way to say thank you to someone who has lifted you up, walked by your side, or tutored you, but it is important to recognize those who may have inspired you. You can write them a personal card, post your appreciation on social media (when appropriate), or share your story to inspire others. If you’re stuck for ideas, there are many resources online that can help you out.
Thank you to all of the mentors who are mentoring, or who have mentored, youth at Covenant House Vancouver!