Research shows, girls who grow up facing multiple barriers are more likely to experience disadvantages later in life. Most GEM mentees and their families live in priority neighbourhoods and face multiple layers of discrimination.
We work with girls who exhibit leadership qualities but because of their circumstances have faced undue hardship. The girls that we select for our program may face the following obstacles which may impede their professional success:
- gender inequality
- financial insecurity
- lack of support from parents or guardians
- newcomers to Canada
- living with chronic stress which makes them more susceptible to anxiety, depression, insomnia, fatigue, substance abuse, and memory loss
- limited access to specialized programs that would broaden their academic opportunities after high school
By providing these girls with the guidance and resources they need, GEM empowers girls to own their futures long after high school graduation.
In 2015, GEM received a grant to work with University of Toronto’s Department of Social Work to evaluate the effectiveness of the GEM program. Since then, we have been studying the impact that mentorship has in GEMgirls’ lives based on measurements made at the beginning and end of the program.
The 2016-17 UofT research shows that the quality of the mentor/mentee relationship has a statistically significant positive effect on goal orientation, preparedness for the job market, and stress level reduction. The study also indicated significant differences in the program participants’ level of confidence and self-perceptions.
- 100% of GEM respondents know how to present themselves for a job interview
- 96% of GEM respondents are able to set goals and achieve them
- 100% of respondents had a positive experience with GEM
- 92% of GEM respondents feel good about themselves
The need for this program is evident. For the 2018-2019 cohort year, we received 214 mentee applications. This was a 25% increase from the 2017-2018 cohort year, in which we received 170 mentee applications.
This year, GEM was able to increase mentee acceptance by 20%, accepting 60 girls into the program. GEM has developed a growth strategy to assist with our plans to expand the GEM program. By 2021, we hope to increase our impact by accepting 100 girls into the program annually, doubling the number of mentees from our 2017-2018 cohort.
We Need Your Support
Most GEM mentees and their families are new to the country, live in Neighbourhood Improvement Areas (NIAs) and are racialized. These barriers limit their access to opportunities that can help break the cycle of poverty, and that would allow them to broaden their academic and professional horizons beyond high school.
You can help us make a difference in their lives. Your donation will support GEM programming as well as scholarships, youth employment, a social impact study and an all-girls summit.
We practice the highest standards of board governance, financial accountability, transparency, fundraising, staff management and volunteer involvement. We are fully accountable to our donors, which is why we keep administrative costs low, ensuring that your donations result in a maximum impact.