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Mentorship Matters

  • Young women who grow up in poverty are at a higher risk of mental health challenges such as depression and anxiety, disengagement from school, substance abuse, and criminal activity that perpetuates the cycle of poverty
  • Cultural differences and language barriers can limit access to certain programs and can lead to students being misplaced in special education classes that do not address their needs or strengths
  • High school girls are at a critical stage of development. This is the time when school performance and community affiliations are of particular importance. Choices made at this juncture can significantly impact their future

Mentorship matters because it can change a life.

Mentorship is an innovative and effective way to help female youth realize their full their potential and emerge as empowered young women, future female leaders, and problem-solvers of their communities.

Our mentors are carefully chosen for their professional success, their ability to connect and their commitment to improving the lives of our GEMgirls. Participants are matched with mentors by career aspirations, interests, and personality. Mentors share their knowledge and experience to support GEMgirls as they navigate key issues in their lives, such as goal setting, time-management and confidence building.

Our Results

In 2015 we received a grant to work with University of Toronto’s Department of Social Work to evaluate the effectiveness of our program. The research shows that the quality of mentor/mentee relationship had a statistically significant positive effect on goal orientation, stress coping ability, confidence, and self-perception. The research also indicated significant differences in the program participants’ level of confidence based on measurements at two different time intervals.

By the end of 2014/2015 our GEMgirls:


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.