Big Brothers Big Sisters of Greater Montreal, l’Astérisk, Interligne, the LGBT Family Coalition and GRIS – Montréal joined their efforts to launch a new mentoring program for the LGBTQ2+ community of the Greater Montreal area.
Sharing a mission of offering support to LGBTQ2+ youth in Montreal, this new program is an addition to the diversity and inclusion mentoring services offered by Big Brothers Big Sisters of Greater Montreal. Its creation was financially supported by the Ministry of Justice as part of the Fight against Homophobia and Transphobia program.
For Minister of Justice, Sonia LeBel, these initiatives contribute to taking another step towards a society free of homophobia and transphobia.
A first in Montreal
The LGBTQ2+ Mentoring program of Big Brothers Big Sisters of Greater Montreal is one of a kind. It consists of matching a youth aged 6 to 21 years with an adult mentor, both identifying as LGBTQ2+. The goal of the program is to encourage the youth’s personal development through a meaningful friendship with their mentor.
“A long-term mentoring relationship based on trust and shared interests is what our organization aims to establish when we create matches,” says Maxime Bergeron Laurencelle, Executive Director at BBBS. “In addition, numerous neuroscience studies show that children and youths who succeed in the face of adversity have benefited from the presence of at least one stable, involved and caring adult in their life.”
The collaborating organisations hope to bring a new form of support thanks to their combined efforts. According to Marie-Philippe Drouin, L’Astérisk Project Coordinator, “ In a world where prejudice is persistent and difficulties are encountered daily for LGBTQ2+ youth, having access to a positive role model and mentor is synonymous with acceptance, support and validation. The Big Brothers Big Sisters of Greater Montreal LGBTQ2+ Mentoring program is a great opportunity to provide a mentor to young people who do not recognize themselves in the adults around them and thus allow them to develop confidence, esteem and resilience. ”