These programs are designed to empower you as multiply marginalized queer and trans youth through: identifying life goals; building meaningful connections with experienced and affirming community members; and developing skills, experience and leadership to increase confidence and self-advocacy.
SOY Connect: mentorship programs
Mentorship is a personal developmental relationship in which a more experienced or more knowledgeable person helps to guide a less experienced or less knowledgeable person. The mentor may be older or younger, but have a certain area of expertise. It is a learning and development partnership between someone with vast experience and someone who wants to learn.
We have three mentorship streams: SOY Group Mentorship, SOY Personal Mentorship, and the Melanin Linx Project.
You can apply to be an individual mentee through our Personal Mentorship and Melanin Linx applications forms. Please read the descriptions for each stream below to find out if they seem like a fit for you.
Interested in mentoring? Our Be a mentor page has all the details you need to know and how you can apply.
SOY group mentorship
SOY runs weekly youth community health and well-being groups where mentors are part of the team supporting you during program time. Group mentors share identities with you; have skills, talents and experiences to share; are leaders in our communities; and are trained in anti-racism/anti-oppression practices. They support group meals, provide a listening ear, and offer personal and professional knowledge and experience. SOY looks for LGBT2SQ mentors with experience in areas such as: budget and meal planning, shopping for groceries, meal preparation, career exploration and networking, career shadowing, job search support, lived experiences of homelessness, poverty, sex work, medical transitioning, and more.
SOY personal mentorship
Personal mentorship involves matching you as a lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans, two spirit queer or questioning youth (29 years old and under) with a community member who is lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans, two spirit and/or queer. They will support you in a regular and intentional way. Mentorship arrangements are tailored to your specific needs.
Are you a Black, African, Caribbean, or Black-identified LGBTQ youth aged 14 to 25 who lives in Toronto, especially down-town, in the Jane-Finch/Black Creek or Malvern/Scarborough communities? This pilot project supports your emotional well-being and helps you make progress towards your life goals. The project connects you with affirming Black, African, Caribbean, or Black-identified mentors who share identities and experiences with you, have skills and talents to share, and are leaders in these communities.
Our organizational partners include: Black Creek Community Health, Black CAP, Griffin Centre Mental Health Services, and Taibu Community Health Centre.
SOY Lead is a 20-week peer leadership training program that aims to improve your health and wellbeing, while building your skills in working with others.
This program supports LGBT2SQ youth 29 and under to develop capacity in the following areas: social justice, trauma-informed support, one-to-one support, health promotion, arts-based programming and evaluation, facilitation, and offers a practicum component to select youth.
Our next session starts on March 22, and runs until July 4. Click here for more info.
The Peer Leadership Project
A mentor is a role model who assists someone with making an important transition, learning a new skill, or facing an unknown challenge. A peer leader is a type of mentor who has learned from experience and has developed skills to successfully guide others like themselves.
Peer Leadership honours the knowledge, resilience and strength each of us brings to our relationships and communities. It supports your self-determined strengths to address systemic inequities and to achieve what you view as success.
The SOY Lead Affirmation Deck
A SOY Lead session recently ran from April 30 to Sept. 12, 2019. The 8 youth in the program together created an Affirmation Deck as a way to showcase some of the community and resilience that they built together.
Be a peer leader
Are you an LGBT2SQ youth, 29 and under, who has faced barriers to participating in SOY programs? Are you searching to develop your confidence and self-advocacy skills? Do you care about your health and wellness, and your peers?
For more information please email Verlia Stephens and Tanya Neumeyer at firstname.lastname@example.org.