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GEM: A Real Gem of a Program

Imagine a room full of women with superpowers. Sounds amazing, doesn’t it? Well, you don’t need to look inside a comic book to see these superwomen, because you can see them in real life. They are the ambitious, intelligent and beautiful women that are part of Girl’s E-Mentorship (GEM).

I have had the pleasure of being a part of the GEM program this year. I truly believe that it has changed my perspective of the world around me in addition to teaching me valuable skills for the future. Not only did I learn things like time management techniques and how to ace an interview, I also learned that women are powerful and can achieve great things. I learned that being surrounded by positive, dedicated and determined people will truly change you as well: seeing these wonderful women made me feel motivated to strive to be the best person that I can be.

I also learned the value of having a mentor in your life. I started off as a self-conscious teenage girl, but with the encouragement of my mentor and all my loved ones, as well as the incredible experiences I have had this year, I have become something more. I am now a confident and independent individual that will continue to grow and become the best person that she can.

And I’m not the only one that enjoyed the program. The response to the program has been staggeringly positive: both mentors and mentees expressed how much they loved it. I interviewed both mentors and mentees to see what they had to say. Celine Do, one of the mentees this year says “There aren’t enough words I can use to describe how phenomenal my experience has been with GEM. If you talked to me a day before that first GEMinar, you would be appalled at how nervous, and shy I was. I have grown so much through this program and its valuable curriculum, and because of my mentor, Alison Simpson. We have established an amazing relationship that definitely will not end like my year at GEM.”

Another mentee, Aklil Noza, loved interacting with like-minded individuals and gaining wisdom from successful women. She says, “I feel so much more self-assured after GEM because I face the same hardships as these beautiful girls around me, yet they’ve overcome their obstacles and still managed to shine. So what’s stopping me from doing the same?”

Similarly, the response from mentors has been extremely positive. Siobhan Desroches, who is the Manager of Government Affairs & Stakeholder Relations of the Greater Toronto Airports Authority, says that she became more motivated in her own career as a result of meeting such motivated and focused young women in the program. She also says, “It was incredibly fulfilling to participate in a program working to achieve these goals, and I have never been more hopeful in the future Canadian women after meeting these girls.”

GEM Mentor Liron Davis, who is the Manager of the Indigo Love of Reading Foundation, also spoke about how this program has been one of the highlights of her year and how surprised she was that mentorship evolved into a “friend-like dynamic.”

So to anyone who is thinking of joining GEM as either a mentor or mentee: do it. You will have the most amazing experiences, meet the most talented, creative and awesome women, and grow immensely as a person. You won’t regret it, I promise!

Run for GEM at the B&O Yorkville Run

GEM is participating for the first time in the Bang & Olufsen Yorkville Run!

What’s the B&O Yorkville Run? Well, it’s a super fun 5K race that unites local runners and businesses to raise funds for local charities. It is well-known for being one the coolest races in Toronto and because it offers THE BEST race kit ever! Plus some super high-quality products to refuel the runners at the finish line. This year, it will take place on September 10, 2017.

We know you believe in the life-changing power of mentorship, and we wanted to ask your help to succeed in this adventure!

There are three ways you can actively help us:

1. REGISTER in the B&O Yorkville Run 2017 in support of GEM. When filling out the online registration form choose Girls E-Mentorship. Once you are registered as a GEM runner, you can start fundraising for GEM by asking people to sponsor you! All the sponsorship funds will go to GEM. Hurry up! There are only 500 spots left! Click here to register.

2. SPONSOR one of our runners! If you’re not much of a runner, you can donate to GEM by sponsoring one of the GEM runners. Check out our running team by clicking here.

3. SPREAD THE WORD! Share this email with your family, friends, and peers and encourage them to run in support of GEM or to sponsor GEM runners. Every single $ makes a huge difference!

About the B&O Yorkville Run
Since its inception in 2010, participants in the B&O Yorkville Run have raised more than $800,000 in support of local charities. The 8th Annual B&O Yorkville Run will take place on Sunday, September 10, 2017, at 9:45 AM. 

The registration fee for the race is $100. During registration, you also have the chance to make a personal donation to GEM.

The race kit includes a New Balance Men’s T-shirt or Women’s Tank, a $100 Gift Card for New Balance apparel, download for professional race photos, personalized bib, timing chip, along with some surprises.

Runners registered to raise money for GEM will have a personal fundraising page. Make sure to share it with your family, friends, and peers to start getting donations for GEM! Once you get your first donation, your name will show up on GEM’s page.

Fundraisers who raise over $500 will receive their choice of luxurious fundraising prizes from Bang & Olufsen, Louis Vuitton, Tiffany & Co. and other Yorkville boutiques.

For more information check out the B&O Yorkville Run website.

Regards,
The GEM Team

We’re hiring: Fundraiser (part-time)

Role: Fundraiser (Part-time, contract, option to extend)

Girls E-Mentorship (GEM) is a charitable organization founded in 2012 that offers an innovative mentorship program for motivated high school girls in Toronto, facing socio-economic barriers. GEM’s mission is to equip girls with the necessary skills to achieve their grown-up aspirations and build a diverse network of talented, vibrant women and girls to inspire and support one other.

GEM is searching for a creative, professional Fundraiser that thrives in a dynamic start-up environment and has a broad skillset to execute the organization’s fundraising goals.

The Fundraiser is responsible for securing new sponsors/donors, developing relationships, and growing GEM’s connections within the community.

Duties and Responsibilities
GEM aims to raise $250,000 annually. The Fundraiser reports to and shares responsibility for the achievement of this target with the Founder of GEM and the Fundraising Committee. The fundraiser has primary or secondary responsibilities in the following areas:

Grant Writing (45%)
The Fundraiser has primary responsibility for prospecting, evaluating and pursuing grant funding opportunities, as well as for documenting and reporting on progress at regular intervals. Applications are reviewed and approved by the founder and some are compiled in partnership with members of the GEM Fundraising Committee.

 Major Gifts (35%)
The fundraiser has responsibility for the pursuit of major gifts, defined as $5,000 or more in a single year. A kit and a prospect list has been developed to support this work.  The Fundraiser should be able to maintain existing donors and convert prospects into committed supporters through identification of shared goals and values.

 Admin & Strategy (20%)
The Fundraiser has secondary responsibility for informing GEM’s overall fundraising strategy. In addition, the Fundraiser will need to report on progress at regular intervals; keep detailed logs of all interactions and transactions; take and deliver payment information; communicate with office staff about replies; monitor GEM’s fundraising email account; and fulfil requests from the founder and other staff members.

Skills and Competencies

  • Experience and Interest in fundraising.
  • Exceptional written and verbal communication and presentation skills.
  • Proficiency in MS Word and MS Excel.
  • Working knowledge of relevant ethical codes and legislation including:
    Canada’s Anti-Spam Legislation (CASL) and general privacy principles
    The Donor’s Bill of Rights
    Imagine Canada Standards
  • Superior time management and digital organization skills.
  • Progress reporting capabilities.
  • Attention to detail and strong organizational skills.
  • Ability to work collaboratively within a small dynamic team.
  • Excellent interpersonal and networking skills.

Qualifications

  • Bachelor of Arts Degree and fundraising certificate preferred.
  • 2-3 years’ experience in fundraising.
  • Experience in project management with a proven track record of delivering on objectives.

 

Please send your resume and cover letter to Rochelle@girlsementorship.com by March 31, 2017

Help GEMgirls blossom

Happy International Women’s Day to all the AMAZING girls and women out there!
We love you, we believe in you, and we encourage you to #BeBoldForChange today and every day.

Here at GEM, we work boldly to change and improve the lives of high school girls through mentorship. To celebrate this day, the talented team behind Leaves of Trees is supporting GEM with a one-week promotion that starts TODAY!

Until March 15, $5 from every sale of an Orange Blossom Argan Oil ($60), and $2 from every sale of an Orange Blossom Argan Hand and Body Lotion ($15) will be donated to GEM to help GEMgirls blossom.

Purchases can be made online at leavesoftrees.com (shipping available internationally) or in-store at 177 Queen Street East in Toronto.
“GEM’s purpose, approach, and the positive outcomes for young women in Toronto as a result of their mentorship programs resonates with me and aligns well with our brand, “ noted Dr. Roohi Qureshi, Founder, Leaves of Trees.

“Helping women blossom is integral to our ethos, and to our business principle of committing to kindness.  In both of our orange blossom products that are part of this International Women’s Day initiative, the argan oil used has been hand-pressed by women at a cooperative we support in Morocco.”

About Leaves of Trees
Leaves of Trees is a Canadian brand known for its support of women including the employment of women at a women’s cooperative in Morocco where its argan oil is hand-pressed.

Based out of Toronto, Leaves of Trees takes an artisanal, small-batch approach to making its line of all-natural skincare products, using as many high-quality organic and fair-trade sources as possible. As a member of PETA’s Beauty Without Bunnies Program, Leaves of Trees never tests products on animals and is committed to remaining 100% cruelty- free.

#BeBoldForChange #InternationalWomensDay2017 #IWD2017 #GEMxLOT #HelpGEMgirlsBlossom #CommitToKindness #ConnectEmpowerInspire

Congrats GEMerald Award Winners!

This year GEM started a scholarship fund called the GEMerald Awards. The intention is that every year the GEM community of mentors, supporters and donors will contribute to a fund that will benefit GEMgirls pursuing further education. This year we had a fantastic group of GEMgirls win 5 awards. Each GEMgirl was encouraged to apply and to highlight her contribution to GEM as well as address how the GEM program had positively impacted their life. Girls were chosen through an evaluation process lead by GEM Mentors that emphasized the written application and the strength of their reference.

The winners of the first ever GEMerald Scholarships were:

Zarah Ahmad – GEMerald Scholarship Winner, Apple MacBook

Hira Durvesh – GEMerald Scholarship Winner, Apple MacBook

Fatima Waheed – GEMerald Scholarship Winner, $1000

Aliza Fatima – GEMerald Scholarship Winner, $750

Hajar Seiyad – GEMerald Scholarship Winner, $500

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