By pairing a child or youth with a volunteer caring adult in a trusting relationship, at least two people will experience the benefits of mentoring: the mentor and the child mentee. The first step is to have a caring adult step forward and say, “I am willing to try to help.”
For Karine Pomilia Gauthier, the long-term consistency of an 8-year supportive relationship with her Big Sister, helped shape her to become the strong, confident woman she is today. Karine credits Big Brothers Big Sisters with playing an immense role in her life professionally, academically, and personally. Karine is a founding member of the Big Brothers Big Sisters of Canada National Youth Mentoring Advisory Council, a consortium of youth who provide leadership and representation on youth issues. Her advocacy and passion for mentoring led her to join the Big Brothers Big Sisters of Canada Board in 2020.
“Each experience gave me a new lens through which to view the value of this network. The Big Brothers Big Sisters community — volunteers, agencies and partners — fosters individual relationships that we all benefit from,” she adds.
With the support of staff at more than 95 agencies, each year Big Brothers Big Sisters arms thousands of volunteers to enroll as mentors. The Big Brothers Big Sisters network invests millions of dollars to train and prepare adult volunteers who commit to walking alongside young Canadians as they grow emotionally, intellectually and socially.
“In just a couple hours a week, over time, connections will form that will benefit a child today and that will last their lifetime,” says W. Matthew Chater, President and CEO, Big Brothers Big Sisters of Canada. “These mentoring relationships ignite potential in children and provide the antidote to adversities experienced by too many children and families in need.“
Parents and guardians can enroll children aged 6 to 16 in one-to-one and group mentoring programs. Connect today at bigbrothersbigsisters.ca to enroll or explore volunteer opportunities near you.