BLACK YOUTH MENTORSHIP PROGRAM
BLACK YOUTH MENTORSHIP PROGRAM
The objective of the Black Youth Mentorship Program (BYMP) is to help improve the emotional well-being of Black youth in Hamilton. By connecting with consistent, caring adults, BYAP helps youth participants make healthy and safe choices, increase their resiliency, and progress toward their goals. The Program is delivered in two formats: group sessions, and one-on-one.
We take an approach called Critical Mentoring. Critical Mentoring is focused on the development of a critical consciousness in mentors and mentees. Critical consciousness has two parts; awareness of oppressive external forces, and feeling a sense of efficacy about how to navigate and challenge those forces. The power of this approach is that it can help youth avoid being undermined by these forces, and instead help them thrive in the face of adverse circumstances through personal development and supports that build perseverance.
In partnership with the Hamilton Wentworth District School Board (HWDSB), in-school group mentorship is being provided to Black high school students at Bernie Custis Secondary School and Sir Allan MacNab Secondary School. These monthly mentoring sessions focus on supporting and strengthening Black students leadership and civic engagement skills while empowering and inspiring Black youth to create their narratives and pathways to success and prepare them to be strong advocates for their communities.
Due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, program participants are currently being engaged virtually.
The sessions are supplemental to the education curriculum and are facilitated by Black organizers, artists, journalists, and other professionals. During the sessions students can talk about the challenges they face in school such as racism, Islamophobia and other forms of oppression. Facilitators are able to provide skills, resources and strategies to address a variety of challenges. Core topics and themes include:
- Employment / entrepreneurship
- Educational achievement
- Civic engagement / leadership
- Building a strong cultural identity
The Black Youth Mentorship Program’s One-on-One mentorship stream pairs professionals and community leaders directly with students. Youth aged 13 to 18 are matched with mentors whose background, experience, interests offer significant learning opportunities. The pair connect at least once a month, in person or virtually. The nature of the relationship and advice is unique for each student. This ensures that the individual time, consideration, and attention that best fits their life, opportunities, and challenges.
Hamilton Centre for Civic Inclusion (HCCI) in partnership with Never Gonna Stop (NGS) is currently running a mentorship program connecting Black youth with Black professionals within the community. The program is structured so that every mentor is paired with a youth aged 13-29 who have similar interests in their field or hobbies. Through this program, mentors are able to provide the mentees with advice on their journey that is unique to the Black community and their lived experiences at least once a month. In conjunction with having one on one meetings with mentors, there will also be Zoom presentations twice a month to provide insight to the entire cohort. This list is currently growing, however our confirmed speakers include Black professionals in the healthcare industry, writing industry, music industry, professional athletes, and entrepreneurs.
Hamilton Center for Civic Inclusion
423 King Street East
Hamilton ON, L8N 1C5
(905) 297 4694