Peer Mentorship Program

Are you a student with family responsibilities (including young carers) juggling family life and studies? Will you have been a student at U of T for one year or more in September 2019? Become a mentor and share your strategies and insights with your peers. The Peer Mentorship Program is an approved activity for the Co-Curricular Record (CCR).

If you are ineligible, please consider other U of T mentorship programs available at the Mentorship Resource Centre.

Please fill out an application form and return it to family.care@utoronto.ca by August 23, 2019.

Download application form

1.Why should I join the FCO Peer Mentorship Program?
Becoming a mentor at the Family Care Office is a rewarding experience! You will gain mentorship skills, while developing interpersonal abilities and meeting new people. The program offers training and the ability to partake in various family events throughout the school year. Also, our mentorship program is recognized by the Co-Curricular Record, which means you will earn credit towards your CCR.

2. Do I need to be a parent to become a mentor?
Most of our mentees are student parents who are looking for practical tips and advice on how to juggle the demands of student and family life. However, our mentees might be caregivers to a parent, an elder, or someone else in their lives and request a mentor with these particular experiences.

3. I just started my program this fall, can I become a mentor?
We request that our mentors have been enrolled in their program for at least one year. During the first year of your program, you will gain practical experience navigating life as a student with family responsibilities that will allow you to become a better mentor. The first year of your program is also critical to your own learning as a student with family responsibilties and it may be difficult to juggle multiple responsibilities.

4.I want to join your Peer Mentorship Program, but I am afraid I won’t have enough time?
We only request that our mentors devote 2 to 3 hours monthly. We understand that life as a student with family responsibilities is hectic, for that reason we have ensured that our mentorship program aligns with these demands. We encourage mentors and mentees to use communication methods that best adapt to their needs, from e-mails and phone calls to a brief meeting at a café. Whatever works for you and your mentee!

5. Do you provide training?
All our mentors receive training before they are able to take on a mentee. In addition, we encourage our mentors to take advantage of the resources available through the Student Life Mentorship Program. We are also happy to provide on-going support to our mentors by making an appointment with our staff at the Family Care Office.

Does it seem like you are the only student on campus with family responsibilities?A mentor can share with you valuable tips and candid advice to help you balance the demands of caring for children or others with academic commitments in a safe and supportive environment. You may want to connect with a mentor to chat about:

  • Strategies and insights on caring for a family member
  • A specific question on child care
  • Your newly found pregnancy and a possible leave from your studies

Does it sound like more work and time consuming?

We understand your busy life! You and the peer mentor can choose the best way to communicate; you are the one choosing the duration of the interaction: it can be once from 10 minutes to as many – and for how long – you determine. Our mentors are available to connect with you on a variety of dates and times.

How to get a mentor

Send us an email at family.care@utoronto.ca and we will assign a mentor to you, matching your situation as best as possible.

Who are our mentors

Our peer mentors are University of Toronto students from diverse backgrounds – men and women, undergraduates and graduates. If the mentor is a student parent, some had children before starting their program at U of T and some during their studies here.

Questions?

Please feel free to email family.care@utoronto.ca if you have any questions or call 416.978.0951.

Mentee FAQ

Mentors commit to attending a training session before the school year starts, one-on-one meetings with their mentees, and social events for a total commitment of just over 10 hours from September to March as detailed below. Mentors are always asked whether they can take a mentee or not before being assigned one.Student mentors will:

  • Commit about 2 hours to mentoring student with family responsibilities from September to March (in person, by email, phone, messaging or Skype), with the possibility of extending this commitment if the mentor so desires.
  • Let the Coordinator know about possible periods when not available during the year.
  • Commit to approximately eight hours for events and training as outlined below:
    • A 2½-hour training session
    • The Family Care Office Orientation for Students with Family Responsibilities
    • At least two more events in the fall/winter terms

The Peer Mentorship Program is an approved activity for the Co-Curricular Record (CCR). In order for your volunteer work as a Student Mentor to be recognized on the CCR you must complete the activities as outlined for the program, and you will be required to submit a self-reflection piece at the end of the academic year.

For further information on the program, please view the Information Guide.