Volunteer With Young People
What are KidStart / Kinnections…
KidStart and Kinnections are one-to-one volunteer mentoring programs available to children, youth and young adults who face challenges at home, at school, or in the community. We recruit, screen and train caring adult volunteers to mentor these young people.
Who can volunteer…
Our volunteer mentors are positive, responsible men and women who come from a variety of backgrounds. Mentors:
- are 19 years or older
- are employed, retired, attending school or have a stable routine
- agree to abide by PLEA’s policies
- spend a couple hours each week with a young person for at least one year
- are open and sensitive to cultural diversity
- are capable of being a positive role model
- must have lived in Canada for at least one year
- need to successfully complete all components of the selection process, including a criminal record check. If you have been in another country for more than 6 months in the last five years, we’ll also need a foreign record check from that country.
Our screening process involves at least two interviews, three references and a police record check. Once paired our mentors are matched with a mentee of the same gender. Our mentors are trained in first aid and receive ongoing training, support and supervision to help them be the best mentor they can be.
Where we do it…
KidStart is available for children aged 6-12 throughout Burnaby, Coquitlam, New Westminster, North Vancouver, Port Moody, Port Coquitlam, Richmond, Surrey and South Vancouver. Anyone can refer a child to this part of the program including school teachers, counsellors, parents, guardians, family members and the police.
We provide KidStart for youth aged 13-18 in Coquitlam, Maple Ridge, North Vancouver, Pitt Meadows, Port Coquitlam, Port Moody, Richmond, Sea to Sky, Sunshine Coast, Vancouver and West Vancouver. These youth are referred to the program by a social worker or probation officer.
Kinnections is our mentoring program for young adults aged 19+ who live in Maple Ridge or Pitt Meadows. They are in the program because they are in the process of transitioning to independence from MCFD guardianship or because they are on a Youth Agreement. As with the teens program, a referral from a social worker or probation officer is required for these young adults to access the program.
What’s expected of our volunteers…
Both KidStart and Kinnections are prevention programs. There aim is to help young people make good choices despite challenging circumstances.
Our mentors do this by developing supportive relationships with their mentees, encouraging them to participate in activities that allow them to experience success and by being positive role models. These all help build resilience to the risk factors they may face in their lives. The best way for these important relationships to develop is for mentors and mentees to regularly spend time together, about once a week for around three hours, and for this time to be spent simply having fun. We provide a monthly allowance of $40 to help towards the cost of undertaking activities with your mentee.
Program participants get that ‘go to’ person, when life presents challenges. They also have opportunities to:
- build confidence
- experience personal growth
- discover strengths, talents and abilities
- develop strong community connections
Ultimately, they get the guidance and encouragement they need to realize their full potential.
Just knowing a mentor is there, often helps to create a more positive atmosphere in the family home.
In addition to the satisfaction of knowing they are making a difference to someone’s life, our mentors have the opportunity to:
- discover new interests and learn new skills.
- gain valuable experience for your career and personal development
- participate in fun activities they might not otherwise do
We help every young person make the most of their abilities, which enables them to make a positive contribution to their community.
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