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Kinnections Mentoring Program

UNYA's Kinnections Mentoring Program matches Indigenous youth ages 16 to 19 with trained volunteer mentors. If you are looking for mentorship opportunities for Indigenous youth ages 12 to 15, please navigate to the Mentorship Program on our main Programs page, under "Community & Connection."

Our mentors help you realize your strengths, work towards your goals, and build your confidence and independence. Your mentor will be a supportive, caring, and stable role model, advocate, and friend, who can help you with setting goals and obtaining the life skills you'll need as an adult.

Mentorship in the Kinnections program is an opportunity to form a trusting relationship with a non-judgmental, encouraging adult who you can talk to, try new activities with, and go to for advice. Your mentor can also provide support as you transition to living independently as an adult.

You can identify your own mentor, or we can connect you with a volunteer through the program. To participate in this program, you must be willing to commit to meeting for two to four hours per week for at least one year.

Kinnections Mentoring Program Program Brochure (PDF)

Program Activities

  • Self-directed, community-based activities that are fun, positive, and health, including: arts and culture, sports and rec, educational, and social activities
  • Help with apartment or job searches, finding training or education opportunities, budgeting, navigating resources, programs, and services in the community
  • Group activities hosted by staff for program participants, including activities such as canoeing, snowshoeing, cooking classes
  • Ongoing support, assistance, advocacy, and guidance from UNYA's Kinnections Program staff

How To Get Involved

The Kinnections Program is perfect for Indigenous youth ages 16 to 19 who want to connect with a role model for advice and support, to work towards goals, or towards positive change.

Indigenous youth ages 16 to 19 can self-refer or be referred by someone else, as long as you are aware of and receptive to the referral. You'll be matched with a mentor based on need, interests, and overall fit. Priority is given to Ministry of Children and Family Development (MCFD) referrals.

Contact the Kinnections Program directly to apply (see contact info below).

Volunteers in this program share skills and knowledge, and receive ongoing training in areas such as cultural awareness, life skills coaching, conflict resolution, online safety, mental health, and healthy boundaries, while gaining valuable experience. Mentors receive training before being matched with youth, and support and training from UNYA staff continues throughout the mentorship. The program’s manager and youth care counsellor work with both mentors and youth to help build and maintain a positive relationship throughout the mentorship.

Volunteer mentors meet with youth for two to four hours per week, for at least a year. If you are interested in becoming a Kinnections mentor, contact the Kinnections Program below for more information or to apply.