About The Peer Project

When you’re young, your friends have a big influence on you. They have a lot of say in what music and clothing you like, the activities you do, and the choices you make. By harnessing the power of friendship, peer mentoring helps encourage healthy lifestyles for kids who need guidance and a helping hand.

The Peer Project matches youth mentors, ages 16-29, with newcomer and at-risk kids, ages 6-15, in a one-on-one peer mentoring relationship. The kids you can help face behavioural, social, emotional and cultural challenges. They’re good kids who need someone to talk to, look up to, and most importantly have fun with.

Our mentors are young people who want to change lives. They stand-up as role models, activity partners, friends, and help their mentees realize their full potentials. Our mentors also go through their own transformations, developing leadership and social skills to become outstanding professionals and members of their communities.

We have developed our mentoring program from helping over 30,000 kids since 1976. Our customized program uniquely recruits, assesses, and matches youth based on personality, interests, and location. We take the time to get the match right. We also provide on-going training, 24-hour support for our mentors, and organize monthly activities to bring our matches together.

Our peer mentoring program works. Our kids do better in school, they stay out of trouble, they turn around to give back to their communities, and many come back to be Peer Project mentors themselves.

We have a 98% per cent success rate of keeping kids out of the criminal justice system and in school. But even with our successes, our need for volunteers and support is still great. We have over 400 kids waiting to be matched with a mentor, and we need your help.

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Our Programs

Peer-to-Peer Mentoring

Peer mentors age 16-29 act as positive role models to help at-risk and newcomer kids age 6-15 reach their full potential.

Clicks and Stones

An educator (and mother of a cyber-bullied child) goes to classrooms of grade 7 and 8s to educate and fight cyber bullying.

Mental-Health Training

Mentors receive training on mental health to understand and help their mentees develop a healthy lifestyle and positive outlook.

Girls-only Group Mentoring

Girls (mainly newcomer girls) receive mentoring over 10 weeks based on their needs, ranging from support for emotional wellbeing to self-defense.

Saddle-up For Success

Newcomer and at-risk kids get out of the city and visit a horse farm to learn how to ride horses and connect with nature.

Learning Disabilities Training

Mentors are trained to understand their mentee’s unique way of learning and help them succeed in school.
Map of York Region & Toronto, where the Peer Project works

Why We Are Different

Peer mentoring leads to a more transformative experience than adult mentoring

Peer mentoring leads to a more transformative experience than adult mentoring

We help children that other mentoring programs don’t

We help children that other mentoring programs don’t

We offer expertise to help kids with mental-health diagnoses

We offer expertise to help kids with mental-health diagnoses

We conduct in-home assessments for every mentor and mentee

We conduct in-home assessments for every mentor and mentee

We offer extensive training for volunteers

We offer extensive training for volunteers

We provide 24/7 emergency support

We provide 24/7 emergency support

We run dedicated activities at free or low-cost

We run dedicated activities at free or low-cost

Our average mentoring match lasts for five years

Our average mentoring match lasts for five years

Where Does The Money Go?

Click image to view the full infographic

Infographic: Where Does The Money Go
  • From Mentored to Mentor, the Growth of Charlie

    Charlie with his mentorGrowing up with a single mom with English as his second language, school was a struggle for Charlie. With a busy mother trying to keep the family afloat with limited English, Charlie found himself slipping behind in school. He was extremely shy, not getting along with other kids and heading down an uncertain path. “I remember being frustrated because other kids were doing well in class and I wasn’t,” says Charlie. Thanks to an early intervention from Charlie’s school connecting him with ... Read more

Awards

 
1994 City of Toronto Safe City Award
2000 Diana Princess of Wales Foundation
2001 Ruth Atkinson Hindmarsh Award
2003 Ministry of Citizenship Outstanding Achievement Award
2004 Mayor’s Community Safety Award
2006 Dubai International Award for Best Practices
2010 Bhayana Family Foundation Award (United Way) – Team Achievement
2010 State Farm Good Neighbour Award
2010 Toronto Foundation – Vital Youth Award – Girls Only (GO) Program
2012 Harlequin “More than Words” Award – Sally Spencer
2013 Toronto Foundation – Vital Ideas Award – Youth Mentoring Program
2015 Volunteer Toronto Legacy Award – Volunteer Kathy Bodnar
2014 Bhayana Family Foundation Award (United Way) – Dedication, Mona Dogen
 
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