Big Brothers Big Sisters of Canada

Big Brothers Big Sisters of Canada

October 30, 2012 08:02 ET

Big Brothers Big Sisters of Canada Partners With DreamCatcher Mentoring for Pilot Project to Expand Mentoring Services to Northern Communities

BURLINGTON, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - Oct. 30, 2012) - Big Brothers Big Sisters of Canada has partnered with DreamCatcher Mentoring to launch a pilot mentoring project to expand mentoring services to Canadian northern communities.

The pilot portion of the mentoring project will launch in February 2013 and will offer students, in one class at École St. Patrick High School in Yellowknife, Northwest Territories, the current DreamCatcher Mentoring program while offering another class a hybrid mentoring model of both DreamCatcher Mentoring's e-mentoring program combined with Big Brothers Big Sisters one-to-one In School Mentoring program. This approach to mentorship is the first of its kind, whereby students will have access to two mentors who will provide mentorship in leadership and career development, all towards building students' self-esteem and confidence.

"We have received many requests for our mentoring programs in Yellowknife," says Big Brothers Big Sisters of Canada CEO and President, Bruce MacDonald, "but we have found it challenging to develop a sustainable organizational model that would deliver a quality service. With this partnership, we are able to tap into existing local connections to deliver the program and evaluate a new model of service delivery which may help us reach other remote communities in the future."

Mentored youth do better than their peers on a number of key academic and interpersonal measures. DreamCatcher Mentoring has produced strong results showing greater student confidence in their career and academic paths, and an increase in high school graduation and retention rates among its participants. Youth who are mentored through Big Brothers Big Sisters are two times more likely to have high academic achievement and have high levels of school bonding and commitment.

"We are proud to be partnering with Big Brothers Big Sisters of Canada by adding another dimension to its mentorship programming. We are looking forward to seeing the results of this innovative hybrid mentoring model," says DreamCatcher Mentoring Founder and President Josh Silvertown. "We expect positive results, and evidence supporting the justification of a new and cost-effective service delivery model that will allow us to bring the benefits of mentoring to new communities."

Results of the pilot program will be evaluated at the end of the 2012/2013 school year. For more information about these mentoring programs, please visit or

About Big Brothers Big Sisters of Canada

For nearly one hundred years, Big Brothers Big Sisters has been making a positive difference in the lives of our nation's youth by developing and implementing a wide range of mentoring programs. Serving as role models, our mentors teach by example the importance of giving and giving back, of staying in school, and of having respect for family peers and community.

Big Brothers Big Sisters of Canada provides quality mentoring services for more than 36,000 children and teenagers. Big Brothers Big Sisters currently has over 25,000 volunteer mentors working at 122 agencies that serve children in over 1,000 communities across the country. Learn how you could start something at

About DreamCatcher Mentoring

DreamCatcher Mentoring is an e-mentoring program that connects northern Canadian high school students with Canadian mentors around the world. Students engage in a one-to-one online mentorship with a Canadian mentor working in their aspired career field. DreamCatcher Mentoring was developed in response to the declining number of students that enter and graduate high school in northern Canada compared to the rest of the country. Since 2005, DreamCatcher Mentoring has matched over 1,000 Grade 9-12 Yukon and Nunavut high school students representing 19 schools (15 communities) with mentors working in their aspired 'dream careers'.

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