The Youth Career Mentorship Program (YCMP) is a new pilot program unlike anything currently offered in the Algoma region. YCMP will connect local youth ages 16 to 20 with an experienced mentor and a chance to learn about a dream career and the path it takes to get there. The program is an initiative of the Sault Ste. Marie Innovation Centre (SSMIC), funded by Ontario Centre for Workforce Innovation (OCWI).
The Youth Career Mentorship Program will run from May 7 – June 6, 2018. The deadline for mentor and youth mentee applications is April 18. There are 25 youth mentee and 25 mentor spots available. Paired mentors and mentees are required to meet at minimum three times for a minimum of 30 minutes during that period. Meetings will be documented and resources shared through MentorCity, an online mentoring platform.
“This program will give me the opportunity to explore different career fields and prepare me for my future,” said Parker St. Onge, Grade 12 student at St. Mary’s College. “Many students may choose a career path knowing very little about what they are getting themselves into, but this program will give me access to everything that I need to know in order to choose the right pathway and succeed to the best of my ability.”
Mentees and mentors can apply to be part of the free pilot program through Algoma’s youth portal, Gateway Algoma www.gatewayalgoma.com. Mentors will be selected from the applications and paired based on the youth’s chosen career field and mentor availability. Any youth living in or going to school in the Algoma region aged 16-20 can apply. Mentors may be from in any field of work working in the Algoma Region, and selected based on youth needs.
“This program was developed for youth to have a chance to explore a career field they may be interested in; to create connections between youth and ‘real world’ experience; and to identify which careers are of higher interest to youth versus which careers would be available to them upon graduation,” said John Prgomet, Business Development Manager, SSMIC.
There are many benefits to youth and mentors for participating in YCMP. Youth can learn about a career in a field of interest before contributing funds into training or schooling; develop industry connections; and explore career and schooling options to find a best fit program. Mentors will become more involved in the community and aware of youth needs and interests; strengthen leadership and problem-solving skills; contribute to the talent pool of a career field; and help create a place youth feel connected to and are encouraged to stay local.
“We hope the program will help inspire and motivate youth and help set and achieve goals that will guide their career path,” continued Prgomet. “Understanding youth’s interests, and providing opportunities to connect with experienced mentors in our community is invaluable to setting youth up for future career success.”
Mentors and mentees interested in participating can sign up here. Once the application is completed, someone from the YCMP team will be in contact. Mentors will be selected based on the demand determined by mentees, and must be able to provide a background check. Each participant must agree to at least to the program requirements, and complete a training session along with evaluation forms to help measure the program’s success.
For more information about the Youth Career Mentorship Program, contact Natalie Yuen with SSMIC at [email protected] or 705-942-7927 ext. 3049.