Sarnia-Lambton Rebound receives national grant for female mentoring

Funds will sustain 'Girls Mentoring Program' for four years

Paige Van Praet is coordinator of a mentoring program that recently received a national grant. The funds will be used to sustain the program for the next four years.

Sarnia-Lambton Rebound has been awarded one of 22 national grants from the Canadian Women’s Foundation to provide female empowering programming to youth.

The Foundation recently announced a $160,000 funding commitment spread over four years to the Sarnia-Lambton agency from its Girls Fund to evolve the Girls Mentoring Program, both in Sarnia and into rural Lambton.

The national program pairs youth girls from ages 9-13 with adult female mentors. This year, the program will also invite junior mentors into the program, ranging in age from 14-17. This new addition is based on evidence-informed research and builds on the agency’s mandate to be youth engaged.

Program coordinator Paige Van Praet says the girls will benefit from leadership, self-exploration and learning opportunities with positive and supportive female mentors.

“I’m excited for the new addition of junior mentors, and that we have some former mentees returning to take on this leadership role with a new group of youth,” she said.

“I also thank the Canadian Women’s Foundation for the investment in youth in our community. This program started as a pilot project through funding from the Foundation and to see it evolve and thrive as one of Rebound’s flagship programs is truly rewarding.”

This service has allowed the agency to forge new community partnerships and Van Praet said she is confident this growing program will continue that trend.

Rebound will run three distinct groups:

—The rural program will run at the Watford Library bi-weekly on Tuesdays from 4:30-6:30 p.m, beginning October 4. Rebound is currently looking for girls to be mentored who are between the ages of 9-13, ages 14 to 17 and adult women mentors.

—The Sarnia-based session will operate at Rebound’s main location at 10 Lorne Crescent, bi-weekly on Wednesdays from 4-6 p.m. beginning October 5. Rebound is accepting applications from those who want to be mentored who are ages 9 to 13 and ages 14 to 17.

—The third session is for Immigrant/Newcomer/Anishinabek/2nd Generation Canadian girls. It will be located at the YMCA Career and Learning Centre and run bi-weekly on Thursdays from 5-7 p.m. beginning October 6.  Rebound is currently accepting girls into the program, including those wishing to be mentored who are ages 9 to 13, ages 14 to 17 and adult women mentors.

The Canadian Women’s Foundation announced the funding earlier this month for 22 organizations across Canada, in nine provinces and two territories.

Programs with a Mentoring and/or Aboriginal Culture/Teaching component were the most funded programs, while rural populations were the highest serviced populations this cohort.

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