Youth Peer Mentor Employment Training Program
In January 2021 Access launched an off-shoot to our Youth Gour-Made Community Kitchen program called the Youth Peer Mentor Employment Training Program. In this program we have hired youth to be Peer Mentors who support Gour-Made with the weekly food parcel deliveries and grocery shopping. Their time gets paid a stipend at the minimum wage rate and this time averages between 3 to 5 hours per week. There is a caveat* to this program though—not all of it is paid for work. Some of it also involves the Youth Peer Mentor to do some volunteer work with one of our Youth Empowerment Workers to work on things like, goal setting, building a resume and cover letter, learn how to apply for your social insurance number, get a bank account, learn how to dress and perform in an interview—all of those little things adult professionals are fine tuned to, but our youth need to learn how to accomplish as they enter the workforce. This time with your YEW averages to an additional 5 hours of unpaid work per week.
Each Youth Peer Mentor is a part of the program for 6 to 9 months. The time frame depends on the youth and the goals they want to achieve. To become a Youth Peer Mentor, you must sign up for our Youth Gour-Made Community Kitchen program first and be a participant for a while. If you have interest in becoming a Youth Peer Mentor, make it known to the Outreach Youth Worker who delivers your food parcel each week. We will assign you to a YEW once registered in the programs.
Some of the goals our Youth Peer Mentors must meet to successfully graduate from the program are:
- Open up a bank account at VanCity
- Get your Social Insurance Number
- Create a budget
- Develop a resume and learn to write a cover letter
- Learn how to perform in a job interview
- Practice what to wear in a job interview
- And get a job suited for a student
*Another important caveat to this program is that if the youth is under the age of 16, they require to have parental/legal guardian consent to participate in the program. This is necessary so Access is in alignment with labour laws. If a youth is between the ages of 12 to 15 years old, we require guardian consent to work.