Request a Youth Mentor

IMPORTANT NOTE: Please be advised that our ability to match a child with a volunteer mentor is based on the specific needs and level of difficulty of the child, as well as the availability of a volunteer in their local community. As a result, we cannot guarantee a one-to-one mentor for all applicants. A child’s application may be declined during the pre screening process based on their specific needs and difficulty level; and some applications may be closed if we’re unable to find a suitable volunteer mentor for the child after 6 months. We will work very hard to support and match every child enrolled in our program with a volunteer mentor. But we ask you to please keep these important factors in mind as we work through the enrollment and matching process. Self-referrals from all Newcomer and Canadian Parents and Guardians are being accepted due to COVID-19. Enroll your child today! For more info contact us at mail@yay.org or 416-932-1919.

Where we work

We service Toronto, Etobicoke, Scarborough, York Region (Thornhill, Vaughan, Richmond Hill, Markham, Newmarket and Aurora). Our Head Office is located in North York, Toronto.

What we do

We fully screen, train and support all of our youth mentors. This includes a vulnerable police background check, professional reference check and a full in-home assessment. Mentors must complete our mandatory Mentor Training and if appropriate our Youth Mental Health Training and Youth Learning Challenges Training. Mentors are also fully supported by a staff social worker for the duration of the mentoring relationship, as well as ongoing, 24/7 emergency support.

Our volunteer program is free and we provide monthly no-cost Group Youth Mentoring events and activities for our mentor matches (i.e. Jays and Raptors games, bowling, holiday events, movie nights and more). We also provide support and monitoring through our Parent Support Workers, who obtain periodical updates from the family regarding the match and help to troubleshoot issues as they arise.

Who are our mentors

Youth Assisting Youth recruits volunteer mentors who are between the ages of 16 and 29. Our program uses a peer-mentoring model that matches youth-to-youth, leading to a deeper more transformative impact. We match mentors with at-risk or newcomer youth that are between the ages of 6 and 15 years old.

Our mentors are typically university / college students or young professionals who want to make a difference in their community. They give back by providing an at-risk kid with guidance, support and a positive influence and role model.

Mentors are not therapists, counselors or babysitters. Our expectation of a mentor is to become a friend and set a positive and healthy example. If they are comfortable doing so, mentors may provide tutoring for their mentee. But tutoring is not an expectation or requirement.

Mentor time commitment

We ask mentors to commit and give an average of 3 hours per week for a minimum of 1 year to support their mentee.  Matches may continue beyond 1 year if both parties agree to remain matched.

IMPORTANT NOTE: Please be advised that our ability to match a child with a volunteer mentor is based on the specific needs and level of difficulty of the child, as well as the availability of a volunteer in their local community. As a result, we cannot guarantee a one-to-one mentor for all applicants. A child’s application may be declined during the pre screening process based on their specific needs and difficulty level; and some applications may be closed if we’re unable to find a suitable volunteer mentor for the child after 6 months. We will work very hard to support and match every child enrolled in our program with a volunteer mentor. But we ask you to please keep these important factors in mind as we work through the enrollment and matching process. Self-referrals from all Newcomer and Canadian Parents and Guardians are being accepted due to COVID-19. Enroll your child today! For more info contact us at mail@yay.org or 416-932-1919.

Francophone Services


- Newcomer youth are non-Canadian citizens, living in Canada for 10 years or less, and are ages 6-15.
- Canadian youth are born in Canada or living in Canada for more than 10 years, and are ages 6-15.

IMPORTANT NOTE: Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, we are now accepting Canadian self-referrals from parents and guardians without a referring worker. All Canadian and Newcomer parents and guardians may self-refer their child by completing the appropriate form above.

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