Dec 2, 2023
Become a mentor or a mentee in our innovative Mentorship Program
“This program has been a life-changing experience for me, and I strongly recommend it.” 2023 Program Mentee.
Did you know that Fighting Blindness Canada offers an innovative mentorship program? Morgan Ineson, Fighting Blindness Canada’s Manager of Education shares about the program and how you can get involved…
About the Fighting Blindness Canada Mentorship Program
Our Mentorship Program is designed to support young people (age 15-35) living with vision loss to develop their employment, leadership, and advocacy skills with the helping guidance of an experienced mentor. While Fighting Blindness Canada’s Young Leader’s program has existed for many years, we wanted to create something that would give young people a sustained connection throughout the year and to help them build their networks for years to come.
This became increasingly important in the pandemic as youth were more isolated than ever. Research shows that this isolation had a negative effect on wellbeing and mental health, and so the Mentorship Program was developed to help combat this.
What does participation in this program look like?
Prospective mentors and mentees fill out an application form that provides us with a sense of their interests and goals. Once mentors and mentees are matched, they will embark on a nine-month journey together in which they will meet virtually at least once a month.
Fighting Blindness Canada offers support throughout the year, including training sessions, virtual hang-outs, one-on-one support calls, incentives, and giveaways, and an extensive toolkit to help participants get the most out of the program. The toolkit is comprised of our popular conversation guides that include resources, conversation starters and prompts to help structure each call.
How are mentors and mentees matched?
This is where the magic happens! We get to know each individual through a written application and often a phone call. Matching may be based on shared career interests, but we also consider learning styles, specific skill-building opportunities, personal interests, and more. Our experience shows us that matches are more successful when we look beyond career aspirations and take the whole person into account.
What makes this program unique?
Everyone who takes part in the mentorship program as a mentor or a mentee lives with vision loss. Even if their eye condition is different, all participants have a greater understanding of the challenges faced in the workforce when you are meeting disability-related barriers. Combining this with our holistic approach to matching and our flexible structure, this program is one-of-a-kind!
What were the highlights from the 2023 mentorship program?
In 2023 we had 20 people complete the mentorship program. Coming from a wide variety of fields, including accounting, banking, digital accessibility, law, social services, science, and more. Our mentors went above and beyond providing guidance and a listening ear to their mentees.
Incredible feedback was shared throughout the year…
“The most satisfying aspect of this experience was engaging with my mentee both on the levels of our shared pursuit, scientific research, and on the level of our shared disability. Sometimes these happened separately, sometimes these happened together, but always these experiences were incredibly enriching, and honestly, helped me to feel less alone as a visually impaired person pursuing a career in science. Truly a wonderful experience!”– Mentor
Learn more about the program directly from the participants (play video below):
Is there anything new coming to the program in 2024 and how can I participate?
In 2024, we are adding even more opportunities for mentors and mentees to connect with each other, including a new virtual mentorship summit that will include speakers and networking sessions! We are really looking forward to continuing to build this program.
If you are interested in joining us for 2024, please submit your application form by January 19, 2024.
If you have any questions about the process, please reach out to us at email@example.com
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