Wednesday, March 22, 2023
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Canada supports Big Brothers Big Sisters Peel York and Black Youth Success in Ontario

Shafqat Ali, Member of Parliament for Brampton Centre, announced today that the Government of Canada has provided $70,000 in federal funding through the Community Support, Multiculturalism, and Anti-Racism Initiatives Program to Big Brothers Big Sisters of Peel York and Black Youth Success. He made this announcement on behalf of the Honourable Ahmed Hussen, Minister of Housing and Diversity and Inclusion .

This grant from the Department of Canadian Heritage will contribute to the Black Youth School Success Initiative (BYSSI) Mentoring Program, which is a collaborative project developed by Big Brothers Big Sisters Peel York and Black Youth Success. Big Brothers Big Sisters Peel York is an organization for children and youth based on mentorship, while Black Youth Success is a local, Black-led organization designed to serve and support Black youth.

The BYSSI Mentoring Program is designed to support Black youth through culturally-specific one-on-one mentorship. Young participants will benefit from the guidance, support, and role modelling that adults who share their lived experiences will offer. This mentoring program is unique because it combines the essential practices when working with Black youth developed by a Black-led organization with the best practices of formal mentoring programs. BYSSI Mentoring Program seeks to empower and support Black youth aged 12-18 in the Peel Region.

The BYSSI Mentoring Program will educate Black youth about their histories and Black leadership, strengthen their cultural identities, develop leadership skills, ensure preparedness for post-secondary ventures, and enhance the sense of community belonging. A unique and critical aspect of the way this program is designed is that it is led by Black mentors. This ensures that Black youth are mentored by people who understand their lived experiences, trauma, and struggles with cultural identity and systemic discrimination.

Shafqat Ali, said, “The work accomplished by Big Brothers Big Sisters Peel York and Black Youth Success is instrumental in serving and supporting the youth in our communities. Young people are the leaders of today and tomorrow, and it is organizations like BBBSPY and BYS that ensure their success, well-being, and happiness. Together, we will build a safer and more inclusive Canada for everyone.”

“Mentorship is a necessary catalyst for equity, it can make the difference between a child merely surviving or having real, life changing options. It changed my life and I know this program can change theirs,” Chenai Kadungure, Senior Manager, Black Youth Success said.

Quick Facts
• The Black Youth School Success Initiative Mentoring Program is an 8-month project.
• During this time the Mentoring Program will be designed and implemented
collaboratively by Big Brothers Big Sisters Peel York and Black Youth Success.
• Volunteer mentors will be recruited, screened, and trained and foster mentoring
relationships with a group of approximately 10-15 Black youth.
• Group activities focused on identity and skill development and trainings on Anti-Black
racism will be conducted for not only youth members, but also staff and volunteers.
• The project will engage approximately 75 participants overall

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