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 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.

We will also be hosting some exciting Peer Mentor Mix & Mingle events, so 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.

Questions?

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


Student Parent Mentor Application for 2016/17


Apply to be a Student Parent Mentor!

Please fill out an application form and return it to family.care@utoronto.ca by August 16, 2016. Selected candidates will be contacted for interviews following that date.

Mentor training is mandatory, please speak with us with you are not available. Mentors are strongly encouraged to attend the training on September . Contact us if you are not available to attend.

Download application form


Training and time commitment:

Mentors commit to attending a training session at the end of August, 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 May to October (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 August 31st (contact us if you are not available to attend)
    • The Family Care Office Orientation for Students with Family Responsibilities on September 4, possibly in the morning.
    • One social at the end of September and another in January (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

Natasha had her first child when she was an undergraduate student, and her second child a year and a half ago, 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.
Shannon is a PhD student in the Department of Geography and Program in Planning. She has a background in Women and Gender Studies and Architecture and is interested in issues related to feminized work, art, craft, space and the digital. Shannon is a proud mother of two young children, both of whom she had while pursuing full-time, Master's level studies. As a mother, Shannon has experience with taking maternity leave from the university, midwifery care, home birth, breastfeeding, off-campus childcare centres, City of Toronto daycare subsidy programs, City of Toronto recreation programming, and the Toronto public school system (JK level). Shannon is excited to have the opportunity to mentor other students with family responsibilities.