Mentorship Opportunities

The Manitoba government creates opportunities for young Manitobans to gain experience and skills by supporting a wide range of mentoring programs that are offered to children and youth beginning in their school years and extending throughout post-secondary and beyond. By working together with community organizations, schools, post-secondary institutions and businesses, the Province is creating mentorship opportunities that engage children and youth in activities and career exploration programs that promote positive youth development and allow many to discover the exciting career options that are offered here in Manitoba.

The Province recognizes that there are many benefits to mentoring, which includes the following:

  • Mentorship programs have proven to increase high school graduation rates, post-secondary attendance rates and higher rates of academic success
  • Many youth who have participated in mentoring programs have experienced improved relationships with their family and peers and are often better able to express their feelings.
  • Evidence shows that through a supportive and sustained adult/child mentoring relationship youth are more likely to overcome risk factors and have reduced behavioural problems
  • Youth who have experienced a positive mentoring relationship in their adolescence often develop higher levels of self-confidence


  • What is Mentoring?
  • Types of Mentoring
  • Mentoring Programs
  • Helpful Links

Mentoring is a learning-based relationship between an experienced and competent individual and a learner who wants to acquire some similar experience and competence. It is a developmental partnership through which one person shares knowledge, skills, information and perspective to foster the personal and professional growth of someone else.

Mentoring can take place in various forms: traditional mentoring (one adult to one young person); group mentoring (one adult to up to four young people); team mentoring (several adults working with small groups of young people); peer mentoring (caring youth mentoring other youth); and e-mentoring (mentoring via e-mail and the Internet).


Developmental Mentoring

The relationship of a caring more experienced individual(s) and a less experienced individual(s) resulting in the provision of support, friendship and constructive role modeling over a period of time. The goal is to facilitate a relationship between mentor and mentee as a way of promoting healthy development.

Instrumental Mentoring

The primary focus is learning skills, achieving specific goals, or thinking critically about issues that may be important to the youth’s future (such as career exploration). This kind of mentoring has a specific purpose and can occur in both a group setting or in a one-on-one mentoring relationship.


Mentoring Programs Supported by Children and Youth Opportunities

School-Based Mentoring Programs (Developmental Mentoring)

Big Brothers Big Sisters (BBBS)
Big Brothers Big Sisters of Winnipeg
Big Brothers Big Sisters of Brandon
Big Brothers Big Sisters of Morden-Winkler
Big Brothers Big Sisters of Portage La Prairie
Big Brothers Big Sisters provides both school and community-based mentoring programs for children and youth. These one-to-one mentoring programs match an adult volunteer with a child. The Mentor and Mentee spend one hour a week together either in the child’s school or in the community. The one-to-one activities are designed to produce a positive relationship between the Mentee and Mentor. BBBS programs are located in the following communities: Winnipeg, Brandon, Portage la Prairie, and Morden/Winkler, with satellite programs available in some rural communities, such as Neepawa, Selkirk, Steinbach, MacGregor and Oakville.

After-School Mentoring Programs (Developmental and Instrumental Mentoring)

After School Leaders
Modeled from the After School Matters program in Chicago, ASL has been developed to provide positive after-school opportunities for youth, ages 14-18, from Winnipeg’s inner-city. Participation in the program assists youth in exploring career options and identifying an area that taps their potential and passion within the content areas of arts, science, technology, sports and communication.

After-School Arts Enrichment
Provides financial assistance to individuals, schools and community groups to develop new, or enhance existing community arts programs to support students who do not normally have access to after-school arts education.

Boys and Girls Clubs of Winnipeg (BGCW)
BGCW operates 9 clubs/sites in Winnipeg and offers out of school programs in 5 core areas including (1) Sport, Recreation and Physical Activity, (2) Arts and Cultural Appreciation, (3) Education and Career Exploration, (4) Health Awareness and Life Skills Development, and (5) Leadership and Service to Community.

Bright Futures Fund
The Bright Futures Fund enables community organizations and partner schools to implement programming to improve high school graduation rates and to increase access to and retention in post-secondary education for disadvantages, under-represented and low-income students. The Bright Futures Fund works with the following programs: Career Trek, Community Schools Investigators (CSI), Medical Careers Exploration Program, Pathways to Education, The Peaceful Village and Power Up!

Ototema II
Programming offered through Big Brothers Big Sisters of Winnipeg. The mentoring program is about friendship where male and female adult volunteers are matched in a one-to-one relationship with a male or female youth who is in conflict with the law. The youth in this program are between the ages of 7 - 18 and include younger youths referred from the Turnabout program, older youths on probation, and youths incarcerated at the Manitoba Youth Center for non-violent offenses.

Youth Employment for Newcomers
Programming for newcomer children and youth offered by Newcomers Employment and Education Development Services Inc. Programming includes English language skills, educational adaptation, homework help, skills development, recreation and individual or group psycho-social support provided by social workers.

Gilbert Park Youth Mentorship “Going Places”
An initiative delivered by Nor’West Co-op to promote positive development and healthy lifestyles for youth living in the Gilbert Park area of Winnipeg.

Thompson Boys and Girls Club
A community-based, youth serving organization that provides children and youth of diverse social and cultural backgrounds with a free after-school drop-in program (ages 5-12) in a safe, supportive and fun environment.

Career Exploration (Instrumental)

Manitoba Mentors
Connects high school students and youth with mentors from businesses, labour and not-for-profit organizations to support career exploration through one-to-one mentoring, group mentoring, site visits and speakers’ bureaus, and mentoring with representatives of business, labour and not-for profit organizations.

Careers in the Arts
This program is offered by the Arts and Cultural Industries Association of Manitoba and offers young people considering careers in the Arts an opportunity to explore these careers through mentorship. The goals of this mentorship program include increasing awareness of employment opportunities and the transferable skills recognized within the arts and cultural sector.

Career Focus                                                        
Provides students with opportunities to receive career-related work experience and aids in the transition from school to work.  A wage incentive is provided to participating employers.  The component also provides support to the High School Apprenticeship Program (HSAP) program, encouraging increased participation in the trades and skilled careers.


Manitoba Mentoring Network
The Manitoba Mentoring Network was formed in 2010. The Network currently has up to 15 mentoring organizations and/or programs and meets at least four times a year to discuss mentoring in Manitoba, including sharing information regarding mentoring best practices and programs. The Network aims to increase the coordination, networking and understanding of mentoring in our province.