Students progress through the mentoring program by participating in LAB Mentoring in Grade 9, specialty mentoring in Grades 10 and 11 and then a combination of both specialty and career mentoring in Grade 12 and 12+. All students are expected to participate in some form of mentoring on a regular basis as part of the program requirements.
LAB Mentoring is intended to create a positive sense of belonging to a peer group and a caring community of Pathways staff and volunteers. Its purpose is to reduce isolation, promote the development of social skills and personal identity and provide adult role models and encouragement for students in Grade 9. The goal is that students walk away from LAB Mentoring knowing they have learned something they can apply and understand they have the support surrounding them to help them become whatever their dreams may hold.
Specialty Mentoring focuses on the accumulation of school community involvement hours, Pathways community hours, and on the development of post-secondary and employment readiness.Specialty Mentoring encourages critical thinking and self-reflection around learning, expands students’ ambitions and horizons, builds networks of people and experiences, and provides positive community role models. Examples of Specialty Mentoring include participating in school clubs and/or teams, community organizations, volunteering and/or having a part-time job.
Career Mentoring supports youth in exploring post-secondary and employment opportunities. Career Mentoring activities are available for students in their final year(s) of high school – primarily Grades 12 & 12+. The program offers a variety of resources for students including: guest speakers, workshops, field trips and combined student/parent presentations to inform and support the transition to post-secondary education or employment. Career Mentoring and Specialty Mentoring work together to ensure younger students are connected with potential post-secondary opportunities early in their high school years.
At all levels of mentoring, students interact with mentors who are volunteers from many different backgrounds and experiences. The mentors work to create a positive sense of belonging to a peer group and a caring community in each of the students in the Pathways Program. Mentors also help students develop their leadership abilities, and recognize their individual strengths.