What is mentorship?
“Mentoring is a one-on-one relationship in which a more experienced or more knowledgeable person helps to guides a less experienced or less knowledgeable person. The mentor usually helps the mentee identify career goals and provides advice and guidance. Sounds a bit like a coach, right? Not quite. While a mentor might use coaching techniques while working with mentees, coaches aren't necessarily mentors. Coaching is a set of skills and behaviors; mentoring is fundamentally relationship based. Unlike a coach, a mentor might also share personal experiences or recommend potential actions.” (Educase.edu).
What are the benefits of mentorship?
The benefits of mentorship for both the mentor and the mentee are immeasurable, but include forming encouraging and empowering relationships, giving/receiving help with identifying and achieving career goals, identifying gaps in skills or knowledge, increased confidence, access to broader perspectives, building successful relationships and connections and so much more!
Who can sign up?
Our program is open to First Nations youth from grades 7 – 12 who are currently residing in Ontario, on or off-reserve. Our mentors must be over the age of 18, identify as Indigenous and also be either currently working in, or an expert on, a technical career in the areas of emergency management, engineering, environment, fire safety, fuel systems management, solid waste, skilled trades, housing & infrastructure, operations & maintenance, and water & wastewater.
I’ve finished high school but I am looking for a mentor/direction. What can I do?
There are so many amazing mentorship programs out there, we would recommend you check out Indspire’s Rivers to Success program, or Skills Ontario’s First Nations, Métis, and Inuit Initiatives.
Why was this mentorship program developed?
This program is an initiative of the Ontario First Nations Technical Services Corporation (OFNTSC) whose mission is to help First Nations achieve technical self-reliance. One of the ways they do this is by creating the technical leaders of tomorrow through the promotion of technical service careers via TYCOP. Many First Nations communities in Ontario are lacking in-house technical expertise when it comes to things like engineering, water and wastewater, housing, fire safety, and more. Here at TYCOP we are trying to bridge that gap by showcasing the benefits of pursuing a technical career for First Nations youth.
What is TYCOP?
The Technical Youth Career Outreach Project (TYCOP) is an initiative of the OFNTSC, that empowers and encourages Ontario First Nations youth to study and pursue careers in science and technology by illustrating personal, professional, community and global benefits of education attainment.
What are the qualifications of your mentors?
Our mentors either come highly recommended to us by our extensive network of contacts within First Nations in Ontario, or we reach out to them directly to invite them to participate. Our mentors are then carefully vetted to ensure they possess adequate knowledge in the given area. All mentors must also be over 18 years of age and pass a police background check for vulnerable sector screening. We do have some younger mentors who are still in University but who are eager to help other First Nations youth follow in their footsteps as they have found their experience to be extremely rewarding.
How long does the program run?
In 2021 the program will launch April 6, 2021 and run until the end of September, 2021. During this time mentors and mentees can meet as frequently or infrequently as they deem necessary. If after 1 – 2 sessions a mentee finds they have been able to answer all of their questions, they can opt-out of the program at that time. We’ve chosen this shorter length to test out the program and help us make any adjustments needed in October 2021 to improve the experience for everyone and enhance the impact for future years.
Why should I sign up?
Mentorship has shown tremendous benefits to all parties involved. As a mentee, you will be matched with a mentor who is working in the field you are interested in. Your mentor will then provide you with guidance and answer any questions that can help you learn more about different careers and what is required to be successful in that area. Technical careers are also in high demand in First Nations communities.
I live off reserve, can I still sign up?
Yes, whether you are living on or off reserve we are looking to assist as many First Nations students as we can.
How do I get a mentor?
To apply to the program and be matched with a mentor, please complete this online form.
How do I become a mentor?
To apply to become a mentor, please complete this online form.
When I hear the word “technical” I think of technology like computers, but that doesn’t seem to be what this program is about. What do you mean by “technical careers?”
We consider technical careers to be pretty much anything and everything to do with what your municipal public works department would do, plus a little bit more. These are the careers that First Nations in Ontario are lacking and often have to outsource, such as a water treatment plant operator, engineers, environmental scientists, housing inspectors, fire safety officer, emergency planners, and so much more.