Mentees

A program for girls aged 12 to 18 years old

Through “Wonderfully Made” we want to encourage Black girls and girls of colour to BELIEVE in themselves, KNOWING that they are beautiful and OFFER girls a space to feel safe and included with their peers.

Adrianna Perryman, Core Group Member

Mentees are a critical part of the Wonderfully Made Program. Once mentors finish their workshops, they join the mentees program as mentors.

As a core group, we recognize that many young girls grow up with an image of beauty, intelligence and talent often contrary to their own identity.  This impacts their self-esteem, their self-image, and engagement in resources and supports out of their realm.

Mentors lead workshops for mentees aged twelve to eighteen years old. The workshops focus on improving the girls self esteem, leadership skills, literacy, and cultural identity. It is important for girls of colour to know who they are and what it means to be a person of colour and teach them to be proud.

Black Girls in Canada have different experiences…

In Canada, there are approximately 620, 000 Black girls and women. However, there are marked differences between the lives and outcomes for Black girls and women, and racialized girls and white girls. Why? Systemic racism and oppression inherent in slavery created a culture and system that disadvantaged Black girls and women, and created barriers to their ability to access the same opportunities as other girls and other people in Canada (Taken from: https://behindthenumbers.ca/shorthand/black-women-in-canada/).

The outcomes show a big difference. In Toronto, 20 % of Black youth do not complete high school and in Durham Region, 10 % of Black youth do not complete high school. This represents over 100% more than youths who are not Black or racialized. We know that Black girls out perform boys, and we don’t know the statistics, but we know that there is a problem. When it comes to education, our curriculum does not represent or talk about the experiences of Black girls and Black people. Often Black girls feel that their voices are not heard, they do not feel close to or connected with their teachers, and they do not learn about history that exemplifies the excellence of Black history. Now, 32% of Black women under 35 held a professional degree compared to 36 % of white women. These disparities exist in other areas such as in health, the criminal justice system, and in labor. Further, Black and racialized women are less represented in academia, and make up 44% of University professor and 31 % in College professors. This compares with non-racialized men who consist of 62%. This information reinforces that Black women continually experiences systemic racism within multiple spheres of influence.

Why Wonderfully Made?

According to the publication, Black Women in Canada, a key strategy for improving economic security is:

  • Create spaces for young women to advocate for gender equality and address systemic racism.
  • Provide Mentorship, capital, and start-up fund to boost entrepreneurship in women
  • Address poverty by creating opportunities for training, mentorship, and access to employment
  • Engage young Black women to advocate for their interests.

Our program seeks to equip young women with the skills needed to engage in these arenas by improving their mental health, their identity and self-esteem, their access to supportive mentors, and their educational and professional outcomes.

“I wouldn’t be here without all of the Black women around me. Put us together, and we can do anything.” – Misty Copeland

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