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youth, youth mentorship, Youth surrey

Youth Leaders Mentoring Future Leaders

Looking at how our youth are positively impacting our community

For many preteens ages 10 to 13, the prospect of entering high school can be very intimidating. By partaking in a mentorship program, preteens in grade six and seven form connections and relationships with mentors. These youth mentors are from their catchment high school and help lead projects and activities alongside City of Surrey staff. Not only do these mentors develop connections, they support the mentees in preparing for their transition into high school.

Research supports that school-based peer mentoring can have many positive, lifelong impacts for both the mentor and the mentee including:

  • Enhanced academic motivation and achievement
  • Improve social skills and behavior
  • Improve resiliency
  • Strengthen peer, school and family relationships
  • Increase sense of belonging in the school community

The City of Surrey’s Spring 2019 Peer Mentorship Program was hosted at Guildford Park Secondary School and gave students the opportunity to have a positive impact on their community. The youth leaders participated in a variety of group activities and discussions, which led to the development of their action project to help break the stigma associated with homelessness in our community.

This full-circle community action project educated the community on homelessness issues, to help reform perceptions. We are so grateful for all the hard work, ideas and contribution to the community that the Peer Mentorship Program participants have done.

We talked to both staff and the grade six and seven participants to hear about their experiences in the program and here is what they had to say:

How has this experience developed you as a leader?

“To be more confident, express my ideas, and work harder (in a good way).” – Jason, participant

“It helped me think about our community more and the concerns. It also inspired me to reach out and engage in conversations with them” – Cindy, participant

What did you learn from this opportunity?

“A small thing can make a big change.” – Jaya, participant

“It let us know and feel what it’s like to be a leader. Being a leader is hard, but very rewarding!” – Aaron, participant

Did you notice any growth and positive impact from the youth leaders and participants?

“There was growth from the participants who attended start to finish! We saw growth in confidence, sense of belonging and purpose, sense of self-esteem, teamwork, inclusivity, and leadership skills.” – Simi, staff

“Yes! The youth saw opportunities and strived for them. They listened to each other’s ideas, worked together, and became more empathetic for others.” – Holly, staff

Are you a preteen looking for opportunities?

 

Build your leadership skills with the NEW Guildford Youth Advisory Group! Advocate for Guildford youth by sharing your ideas and thoughts and together, we’ll make it happen. Food will be provided and you will gain volunteer hours for your participation. Contact youth@surrey.ca if you’re interested in joining or have any questions.

Looking for a chill drop-in? Check out our Summer Youth Drop-in Schedule! There are FREE drop-ins available for both preteens (grades 5–7) and youth (grades 8–12).

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