Mentoring Opportunities with Big Brothers/Big Sisters

I would like to introduce myself from Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Fraser Valley. I am a Mentoring Coordinator in our Abbotsford office. We are very fortunate to have a long-standing partnership with UFV; we regularly host UFV practicum students from a number of disciplines throughout the year and a large percentage of our volunteers across our mentoring programs are UFV students. We are also proud to be one of a few affiliated partners with UFV’s co-curricular record. In the past we have had much success in gaining new mentors by sharing our program needs with different UFV departments and I am hopeful that this may be the case once again.

My reason for reaching out to you is to see if there may be interest among some of your students to participate in the early stages of a pilot program that is in partnership with Fraser Health; more specifically with the Adolescent Day Treatment program. Youth involved with ADTP receive a wide range of individualized mental health services and educational programming as they are dealing with acute psychiatric illnesses. Our hope is to screen and train 2- 4 volunteer mentors to work with youth involved with the ADTP and help them transition out of their 5 month program and back into mainstream education and social settings. Students from a number of disciplines such as child & youth care, social work, nursing, education etc. would experience exceptional hands on learning as they create a meaningful connection with a young person dealing with significant mental health challenges.

What does the ADTP Pilot Program look like and what is our need?
Interested UFV students would complete the BBBS intake and enrollment process as well as receive volunteer training prior to being matched with a youth. 2-4 volunteers are needed to be matched with youth ages 13 – 18 who are currently attending the Adolescent Day Treatment Program (located at the Foundry office in Abbotsford).

Big Brothers Big Sisters is looking for Abbotsford Mentors ages 19 and older:
• 2 hours per week, for 1 year. Visiting times are flexible to work around the mentor’s and youth’s schedules. Visits would involve free or low cost outings in the community.
• Program emphasizes the opportunity to support youth’s social competencies and help them navigate the social, emotional and educational needs at this tenuous time in their lives.
• Volunteers are energetic, positive role models who will enhance their knowledge and practice around mental health initiatives as well as gain tremendous leadership experience. Although ideal, not necessary for a mentor to have prior knowledge or experience involving mental health dynamics.
• UFV students who volunteer with Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Fraser Valley are eligible to receive recognition on their UFV Co-Curricular Record (CCR).

Email or call if you are interested:
Cheryl Unger
ph: 604 852-3331