How long has the program been in existence and who are the organizations behind it? The CPA Martin Mentorship Program was launched in 2008. CPA Canada and the Martin Family Initiative jointly sponsor it. CPA Canada has established mentoring partnerships with accounting firms and the federal government and is expanding the program to include other employers. For more information, visit About the CPA Martin Mentorship Program. Where is the program available? The program currently involves over 125 students at more than 30 high schools in six provinces across Canada: British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Ontario and Quebec. We are seeking to expand the program. What is a mentor? A mentor is an experienced and trusted advisor. Mentoring is long term and relationship oriented. In Indigenous culture, the traditional learning model is for elders to share knowledge and wisdom with young people. When a good relationship is established, the mentorship flourishes, producing great benefits for both the student and the mentor. How are mentors chosen? Our mentors are Chartered Professional Accountants and other business professionals. Mentors are invited to the program by their employers based on strong personal and professional credentials How are students chosen to participate? Teachers usually identify students in Grade 9 and mentorship usually begins in Grade 10. Students in Grade 11, Grade 12 and beyond may also participate. The students have an aptitude for learning and a high potential to be successful in university or other post-secondary studies. How do students benefit from the program? Students can gain increased self-confidence, appreciation for the value of school and an understanding of potential career options. They are also often motivated to increase their participation in school activities and classroom tasks and improve relationships with peers, teachers and family members. How do schools benefit from the program? Schools can experience greater Indigenous student retention, performance and graduation rates. They also enhance their connection to local accounting firms and other employers. How do mentors benefit from the program? Mentors make a meaningful difference by helping others, learning about other cultures and the issues they face, and meeting personal and professional goals through volunteering. What is the role of the school? The school plays a central role in facilitating program execution, including asking teachers to identify potential students, coordinating permission from parents, providing space for mentoring meetings, communicating with mentors on a regular basis to support positive mentoring relationships, and participating in program evaluation. Read more about the responsibilities of the school. What role do parents play? Parental support and encouragement is vital to the success of the mentoring process. Parents can show interest in mentoring activities, encourage their child to attend meetings with the mentor, and encourage them to stay in the program. How long is the mentorship? Mentors and students meet regularly during the school year, i.e., six to eight months. Ideally the relationship is maintained through their high school careers. What kind of activities do students do with mentors? Activities are focused on guiding the student to develop an appreciation for completing their education, explore future career options and see the connection between classroom learning and the workplace. Activities may include leadership participation in a community event, discussions about life skills, visiting a post-secondary education institution to explore future education opportunities, discussing job responsibilities in the workplace, and networking to practise good communication skills. Where do mentors and students meet for activities? School policies set parameters for where, when and how often mentors and students meet. Mentors and students meet primarily at the school, but activities may also involve off-site excursions to workplaces or post-secondary institutions. Some programs also include one-on-one contact between mentor and student, usually about once a month and always in accordance with school policies. Parents and the teacher lead are advised of any meetings held off school property, such as to attend a community event or visit a local business or university or college. What behavioural, ethical and other policies must be followed? Mentors must follow the behavioural and ethical policies of the schools in place for teachers. In general: Common good sense prevails. No behaviour or activity undertaken with the student should promote or facilitate an inappropriate personal relationship. One-on-one meetings take place in appropriate settings that are not private or isolated. Mentors will not invite students to their homes or give them personal gifts. Mentors report all contact with students through the school reporting process, notifying parents and the teacher lead of any meetings held off school property. What are the guidelines for using social media to communicate with students? School policies for the use of electronic communication and social media that apply to teachers also apply to mentors. Questions? Please email us.