Supporting Our Youth Cultivate. Create. Celebrate.

SOY Mentorship and Peer Leadership Programs

These programs are designed to empower you as multiply marginalized queer and trans youth through: identifying life goals; building meaningful connections with experienced and affirming community members; and developing skills, experience and leadership to increase confidence and self-advocacy.

SOY Connect: mentorship programs

Mentorship is a personal developmental relationship in which a more experienced or more knowledgeable person helps to guide a less experienced or less knowledgeable person. The mentor may be older or younger, but have a certain area of expertise. It is a learning and development partnership between someone with vast experience and someone who wants to learn.

We have three mentorship streams: SOY Group Mentorship, SOY Individual Mentorship, and the Black Queer Youth Mentorship Project.

SOY group mentorship

SOY runs weekly youth community health and well-being groups where mentors are part of the team supporting you during program time. Group mentors share identities with you; have skills, talents and experiences to share; are leaders in our communities; and are trained in anti-racism/anti-oppression practices. They support group meals, provide a listening ear, and offer personal and professional knowledge and experience. SOY looks for LGBT2SQ+ mentors with experience in areas such as: budget and meal planning, shopping for groceries, meal preparation, career exploration and networking, career shadowing, job search support, lived experiences of homelessness, poverty, sex work, medical transitioning, and more.

The SOY community groups that have mentorship support are: Monday Night Drop-In, Express, Black Queer Youth and Trans Fusion Crew.

SOY personal mentorship

Personal mentorship involves matching you as a lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans, two spirit queer or questioning youth (29 years old and under) with a community member who is lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans, two spirit and/or queer. They will support you in a regular and intentional way. Mentorship arrangements are tailored to your specific needs.

Black queer youth mentorship

Are you a Black, African, Caribbean, or multiracial LGBTQ youth aged 14 to 25 who lives in Toronto, especially down-town, in the Jane-Finch/Black Creek or Malvern/Scarborough communities? This pilot project supports your emotional well-being and helps you make progress towards your life goals. The project connects you with affirming Black, African, Caribbean, or multiracial mentors who share identities and experiences with you, have skills and talents to share, and are leaders in these communities.

Our organizational partners include: Black Creek Community Health, Black CAP, Griffin Centre Mental Health Services, and Taibu Community Health Centre.

SOY Lead

The Peer Leadership Project

A mentor is a role model who assists someone with making an important transition, learning a new skill, or facing an unknown challenge. A peer leader is a type of mentor who has learned from experience and has developed skills to successfully guide others like themselves.

Peer Leadership honours the knowledge, resilience and strength each of us brings to our relationships and communities. It supports your self-determined strengths to address systemic inequities and to achieve what you view as success.

Be a peer leader

Are you an LGBT2SQ+ youth, 12 to 25 years old, who has faced barriers to participating in SOY programs? Are you searching to develop your confidence and self-advocacy skills? Do you care about your health and wellness, and your peers’ health and wellness?

Do you want to work with your peers to develop your leadership potential?

Do you want experience to help you find a job?

Do you want to get paid?

This pilot project will be hiring and training 8 youth leaders to develop this project and deliver programing to peers. Your training will include:

  • Social justice
  • Trauma informed support and trigger awareness
  • One-on-one support
  • Health Promotion
  • Arts-based programming and evaluation
  • Facilitation
  • Facilitation Practicum
  • Peer Support Practicum

Interested? Please contact Verlia Stephens, Mentorship and Peer Leadership Coordinator at [email protected].


For more information about SOY Mentorship Programs please contact Verlia Stephens, Mentorship and Peer Leadership Coordinator, at [email protected].