Talk to a Family Care Office Peer Mentor!

Get a mentor Become a mentor

Why get a mentor

Does it seem like you are the only student on campus with family responsibilities?

A mentor can share with you valuable tips and candid advice to help you balance the demands of caring for children with academic commitments in a safe and supportive environment. You may want to connect with a mentor to chat about:

  • Strategies and insights on caring for a family member
  • A specific question on child care
  • Getting your toddler to sleep
  • Your newly found pregnancy!

How to get a mentor

Send us an email at and we will assign a mentor to you. You and the peer mentor can choose the best way to communicate. Our mentors are available to meet on a variety of dates and times.

Peer Mentor Drop-in Hours

Our Peer Mentor Coordinator will also be available for you to speak to on Tuesdays from 1 to 3 p.m. during winter term. As well, a peer mentor will be available on Tuesdays from 9 to 11 a.m. this fall until December 14 and during the winter term.

We will also be hosting an exciting Student Parent Social on Tuesday January 31st, stay tuned for more details!

Who are our mentors

Our peer mentors are University of Toronto students from diverse backgrounds - men and women, undergraduates and graduates, some are dealing with elder care and others with child care responsibilities or some with both.


Please feel free to email if you have any questions or call 416.978.0951.

Student Parent Mentor Application for 2017/18

Apply to be a Student Parent Mentor!

Are you a student with family responsibilities juggling family life and studies? Have you been at U of T for a year? Become a mentor and share your strategies and insights with your peers. This activity will be officially recognized with a notation in your transcripts and can be listed in your resume/CV!

Please fill out an application form and return it to by August 25, 2017.

Mentor training is mandatory. Please speak with us if you are not available to attend training.

Download application form

Training and time commitment:

Mentors commit to attending a training session before the school year starts, one-on-one meetings with their mentees, and social events for a total commitment of 10 hours from September to March as detailed below. Mentors are always asked whether they can take a mentee or not.

Student parent mentors will:

  • Commit about 2 hours to mentoring student parents from September to March (in person, by email, phone, messaging or Skype), with the possibility of extending this commitment if the mentor so desires.
  • Let the Coordinator know about possible periods when not available during the year.
  • Commit to approximately eight hours for events and training as outlined below:
    • A 2½-hour training session on a date to be determined before the orientation period - contact us if you are not available to attend
    • The Family Care Office Orientation for Students with Family Responsibilities in the beginning of September
    • One social at the beginning of the fall term and another in the beginning of the winter term (2 hours each)

The Student Parent Mentorship Program is an approved activity for the Co-Curricular Record (CCR). In order for your volunteer work as a Student Parent Mentor to be recognized on the CCR you must complete the activities as outlined for the program, and you will be required to submit a self-reflection piece at the end of the academic year.

For further information on the program, please view the Information Guide.

Peer Mentors

Mentors' Bios

Anna is in her 4th and final undergraduate year at the Faculty of Dentistry, where she has started a group for student parents. She has a 4 year-old daughter and knows what it is like to juggle the challenges of a demanding program and a busy home life. She finds that being a Family Care Office mentor is a great way for her to meet other student parents and to support them as they go through challenging situations that she has herself experienced.
Beatriz moved to Toronto in 2015. Her family responsibilities include her husband and three small children. Her kids were born while she was working full-time and before coming back to school as a PhD Student. In addition to her graduate work, she is a Teaching Assistant and a tutor for children.
Bhavna Sharma arrived in Canada and began her studies in Dentistry at U of T, where she is now a graduate student. She has a 3 year-old and is aware of the challenges faced by many student parents. She is eager to share her experiences and tips with fellow student parents on how to successfully juggle a busy academic life along with raising a family.
Emuna has just finished her 1st year in the Masters of Social Work program. She was pregnant throughout her first semester and had her first child in January 2016. She was away from campus for 3 months, completing a course online during the winter semester. Emuna did summer school and a practicum while sending her then 3 month old to daycare. She is now working towards completing her studies and practicum. Emuna can discuss going through the daycare system and subsidy applications, nursing and pumping at practicum and on campus, as well as balancing pregnancy, newborn and infant stages with schoolwork and placement.
Georgia is an undergraduate student of Caribbean background, the mother of a 14 and 16 year olds to whom she has had to give special attention, helping them work through challenges they encounter at school and when accessing and utilizing community resources. She and her children also help with caring for elderly parents and grandparents.
Lisa is a 4th year PhD student at the Rehabilitation Sciences Institute. During her 2nd year of studies she had a baby and took a 7-month parental leave from her academic studies/research. In planning for the arrival of her son, she accessed the many resources of the Family Care Office as well as childcare and family related services in Toronto. While being a student who is a parent can be a daunting experience, Lisa believes that social support and knowledge are key elements to surviving what feels like a constant "juggling-act". Lisa also has a background in Occupational Therapy, adult and older adult health & wellness, and caregiving for older adult family members.
Malkia completed the Academic Bridging Program prior to my acceptance at U of T and is currently entering her third year here at the University, completing her undergraduate in Indigenous Studies and Women and Gender Studies. She is a single mother and has a three year old daughter who attends full time subsidized daycare. She has had her fair share of experience when it comes to dealing with OSAP and utilizing other financial aids available at U of T while also working on campus as a work-study student. She has a lot of experience in dealing with stress around assignments, dealing with family issues (i.e. custody) and maintaining a social life while balancing the overwhelming load of course content.
Madeleine is on the 4th year of her undergraduate studies with a Major in Human Biology-Health & Disease and Minors in Biology & Physiology. Although she had transfer credits from another Bachelor's degree from abroad, she pretty much had to start from year one. She applied to U of T while still pregnant from her 1st child, and as a single mother. Since then she has learned about many resources and also about academic issues and learning strategies that not only helped with her studies, but also her personal development.
Mustafa is a Master’s student at the Faculty of Medicine who came to Canada a few years ago. He had completed his medical qualification exams, some publications, and his first year of Master’s at U of T while supporting my wife at school and raising two children (a 3.5 year old boy & 2 year old girl). He has experience looking after his two kids while his wife was out of the country, and also while attending full time school. His focus has been to achieve high standards at the university, attending many enrichment courses, while at the same time giving his family his undivided attention when with them. Mustafa has experience on how to stay motivated and healthy by utilizing a wide range of resources at U of T. He can also share his knowledge of various external family support programs and resources.
Natasha had her first child when she was an undergraduate student and her second child while in her first year of the PhD program. Natasha has experience with being pregnant while in school, taking maternity leave, not taking maternity leave and the politics of nursing, throughout her post-secondary studies. Natasha has a lot of knowledge about the importance of connecting with peer support (she started a student-parent support network within her faculty!), self-care, seeking balance and remaining grounded throughout her journey as a student-parent.
Rula has two adult children both studying at the University of Toronto. She has always been studying, working, and raising a family at the same time. Her life as a mother and student helped her find ways to balance schoolwork and parenting. As an immigrant to Canada, she has a lot to share with student parents who are new to the country on ways to navigate through a new system while settling as a family.
Sharlene is a part-time undergraduate student who enjoys connecting and networking with other students with family responsibilities. She has experience working as a volunteer children's counsellor at an after-school program, so can provide support to parents facing difficulties or wanting to know more about school issues. Sharlene is having a baby soon and understands that being a new mother and a student can be overwhelming but achievable. She wishes to be a support and would enjoy becoming a source of motivation and inspiration for other new student parents-to-be.
Velta is a PhD candidate at OISE currently entering her fourth year of studies. She is a single mother to a 3 year old daughter. She has experience navigating through family court while balancing the demands of graduate school and raising a young child.
Yixin is an international graduate student. She works part-time, has a working husband, a 4 year-old son and is currently expecting her 2nd baby. She is excited to share her knowledge with goal setting, prioritizing and also utilizing the resources around campus to assist in balancing academic and family life.