July 14, 2020
An open letter to corporate, government and charitable leaders around the world
July 8th, 2020
In many ways we live in borderless times. As youth mentoring leaders on five continents— our call to refocus on growing access to relationships—requires a global response. Together we must increase our efforts to reach out to those young people without a mentor in their life who can provide inspiration and nurture ambitions.
Mentoring is supported by research as a high-impact, low-cost intervention and can help youth bridge to future supports, succeed in education or progress in employment.
Young people, like the rest of society, are facing monumental changes in their lives. We must ensure that physical distance does not lead to disconnection and disorientation. Employment and education disruptions throughout society have a compounding negative effect on our youngest citizens as they chart their future.
Mentoring relationships ensure continuation of essential emotional support, connection, and stability that a young person needs in a time of uncertainty and upheaval-- sometimes providing the critical lifeline and connection to hope and the future.
WE ARE RESPONDING. WE ARE ADAPTING.
#MentoringDoesNotStop is more than a hashtag, it is an urgent reminder that we cannot stop as our young people need us now more than ever.
We are moving digital and supporting a transition to virtual mentoring in a safe, monitored and secure ways for mentors and mentees to continue their relationships while they may be separated due to COVID-19. We organize online connections and conversations, to connect, learn from each other and, above all, to inspire each other and provide hope. We continue to recruit new mentors to support youth and provide training in quality mentoring.
We are growing connections and inspiring future career paths for a post-pandemic world, building connections between young people and employers opening new career pathways.
Canada provided catalyst funding towards mentoring in 2019 with an investment $6.3 Million to expand youth mentoring across the country. The Canadian Mentoring Partnership, through the Power of Mentoring Campaign, offers a series of virtual networking and skill-building experiences designed to support youth ages 18-24. Hosted in partnership with employee volunteers from corporations and the private sector, the events are focused on expanding networks, enhancing employment skills and increasing access to job opportunities. The first four virtual events were jointly hosted with Deloitte (May 14th), Canadian Council for Youth Prosperity (May 18th), European Center for Evidence-Based Mentoring (June 3), and Toronto Pearson Int’l Airport (June 9th). We are scheduling at least 11 additional events with other employers (including RBC and Starbucks) and youth-serving organizations in the coming months. We have also invited all MPs to co-host a virtual Power of Mentoring event in their riding.
On September 24th, 2020 in connection with business and mentoring leaders we will be hosting a global Power of Mentoring event helping 50 young leaders aged 18+ on their path to employment with employers representing diverse industries.
THIS CRISIS IS AN OPPORTUNITY TO REPAIR THE CRACKS
The crisis has revealed and exacerbated gaps and inequalities. We cannot allow our most vulnerable young people to be left behind yet again.
Governments: We are calling for additional stimulus package to maintain youth-serving nonprofit operations, expand scope to address increasing demands, and stabilize losses from closures throughout the country.
Investors: We are seeking transition funds to support programs to be able to update their mentoring activities, mentor training, and staff capacities to meet youth needs from the covid-19 pandemic.
Systems (Schools and Workforce, etc.): Prioritize relationships because now more than ever young people will need them to get to a sense of consistency, normalcy and ultimately thriving. We can help employees build their own skills by helping young people with skill development.
Community Members: We are calling for more mentors to step forward by reaching outside of their immediate family and making themselves available for a young person.
We look forward to discussing how we can collectively adapt through, and post Covid-19, in order to better support youth employment, mentoring and skill development in Canada.
Managing Director, Canadian Mentoring Partnership
In partnership with:
- David Shapiro, MENTOR (USA)
- Tessy Ojo, The Diana Award (UK)
- Arundhuti Gupta, Mentor Together (India)
- John Tan, Mentoring Alliance Singapore
- Gert van der Merwe, FutureNow Youth Mentor’s Association (South Africa)
- Szilvia Simon, European Center for Evidence Based Mentoring (Netherlands)