The Boundless Life Skills Program is for youth 13-18 years’ old who desire to move forward and make positive changes in their lives.
Each youth comes into the program with their unique set of life circumstances. Youth often come to the program from environments impacted by intergenerational trauma which can include chaotic home life, substance use, lack of relational stability and a decline in mental health wellbeing. Regardless of their life stability, all youth who come into the program are in need of positive and safe relationships.
Currently, the most common way youth learn about Boundless is through peer referral, however youth also join the program through school and as well as social worker referral.
Each participant in the Boundless program is matched with a “one-on-one” mentor who develops a caring long-term relationship and meets with them regularly. The program operates in 4 month sessions that follow the school year schedule:
January – April
May – August
September – December
Each January, May, and September are goal setting months, and each April, August, and December are celebration months.
WHAT MENTORSHIP LOOKS LIKE
- Enjoying time together sharing experiences that will be the foundation of your relationship. They will be able to tell if you are meeting with them to check off a box, or if you actually enjoy their company. Take time to learn about them and share about yourself. Figure out what you enjoy and appreciate about them. Show them that you care and want to be around them.
- Being a positive role model. This includes when you are together and when you are not. Remember youth are always watching even when you think they are not (ie. social media).
- Being reliable and consistently showing up, lets them know you care and are committed. There will be times that you will be stood up and you might feel like your youth does not care. More than anything, your mentee needs to know that you will always be there for them and will not turn your back. As you begin the relationship it may seem like you are putting in a lot of effort to connect without it being reciprocated. Expect for it to feel one sided. Your persistence in the early stages helps your mentee learn that they can trust you and lays the foundation of your relationship.
- Helping your youth achieve their SMART goals is a valuable part of the relationship you develop together. Remember most youth would not be participating in Boundless if they knew how to set and achieve goals by themselves. You play an active role going step by step with them. Some mentors find it works well when they have a rhythm (i.e.: Reviewing one chapter of the driver’s manual each week or spending an hour on homework every meeting). Working towards goals can also help give purpose to early meetups. It can be helpful to discuss at the end of each meeting what the priority will be for the following week. Our focus is on making progress in your relationship and developing life skills rather than just achieving a goal.
- Giving encouragement and the gift of presence. Think of yourself as your mentee’s cheerleading squad for life. You are there to encourage and support through the ups and downs of life and everything in between. As youth progress through their goals you may find some things overwhelm them to the point of them wanting to give up. Your encouragement and presence through these challenges can make a difference as youth learn perseverance even when things don’t go according to plan. Taking time to celebrate who the youth is and any win (big or small) is a significant part of your relationship.
MENTORS ARE INVITED TO:
- Attend minimum one Lifeskill workshop every session with their mentee*
- Goalsetting with Program Manager and mentee each session*
- Attend minimum one Training workshop every year*
- Group outings and activities throughout the year to connect with mentees’ friends and families
- Annual Christmas Party
- Annual summer camping trip
- Report to Program Manager monthly (can be done online/phone/messaging)
- Submit receipts of expenses for reimbursement up to $120 for each session.