Training the Leaders of Tomorrow
Urban Native Youth Association (UNYA) was formed in 1988 to address Indigenous youth concerns, at a time when growing numbers of young people began leaving reserves for the city. UNYA continues to meet the needs of Vancouver’s Indigenous youth by providing a wide range of services, resources, and opportunities that support them to reach their fullest potential. Through over 20 programs, UNYA strives to address issues that negatively affect the lives of Indigenous youth by providing a supportive continuum of care, focussing on prevention-based activities such as peer leadership, mentorship and mental wellness. Youth are active at all levels of the organization, as participants, peer leaders, employees, and board members.Urban Native Youth Association (UNYA) is a registered not-for-profit society with the Province of British Columbia and a federally registered charitable organization.
About the Mentorship Program
The goal of the Kinnections Program is to connect Indigenous youth, ages 16 to 19, with volunteer community members who will act as mentor, advocate, and friend. Our hope is that the friendships formed will be long term and support the youth as they transition into adulthood. These supportive relationships meet UNYA’s mandate by engaging youth in meaningful and fun activities in the community. Having a positive and consistent role model who plans one-on-one activities with them contributes to youth growing into capable, confident adults.
Volunteer Position Description
We are seeking committed volunteer mentors, from all backgrounds, to engage in meaningful and supportive relationships with Indigenous youth ages 16 to 19. Volunteer Mentors will meet with their youth throughout the month, and participate in one-on-one, fun, consistent and goal-oriented activities together. Both Indigenous and non-Indigenous persons are encouraged to apply.
• 21 years of age or older;
• Excellent communication skills in order to facilitate a connection with the youth;
• Must demonstrate the capacity to be a consistent and positive role model;
• Successful completion of all components of the selection process, including a Criminal Record Check, specific to working with the Vulnerable Sector
• Meet with the youth you are matched with for 2-4 hours per week, on a weekly basis, for a minimum of one year, but preferably on a long-term basis;
• Provide acceptance and support to the youth, while respecting who they are and their current circumstances;
• Utilize the strengths and interests of the youth, and work with them in planning future activities;
• Maintain up-to-date knowledge of community resources and develop awareness of matters relevant to the urban Indigenous youth population;
• Model and encourage positive social interaction;
• Maintain open and positive communication with the youth’s guardian;
• Keep accurate records and documentation as required;
• Report all critical incidents immediately to the Kinnections program coordinator, and provide written reports when requested to do so;
• Comply with all provisions agreed to in the Volunteer Mentor Agreement;
• Attend workshops regularly.
• Mentor training session prior to beginning your mentorship;
• Ongoing follow-up and support from program staff throughout your mentorship;
• Opportunity to develop long-lasting relationships with youth;
• Cross-cultural experience and training;
• Develop a deeper understanding of challenges faced by urban Indigenous youth;
• Free monthly group activities;
• Tickets to sporting, arts and cultural events;
• Free bi-monthly workshops on subjects pertaining to effective mentoring and issues faced by urban Indigenous youth.
• Potential references to post-secondary institutions or employers after six successful months of mentoring.
Volunteer Mentors report to the Kinnections Program Manager.
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