PMC Volunteer Mentor Appreciation Luncheon 2016

With another successful year under the belt, July was a time for Prime Mentors of Canada to celebrate! On July 12th PMC gathered to celebrate the work of volunteer mentors during the 2015-2016 school year. As Program Director Barbara Worth and School Coordinator Murray Greenwood noted,

Prime Mentors of Canada appreciates the work that all of our Mentors do to support the creative development of their protégés.  Over a period of months you work side by side with students, making sure they are able to achieve their goals in developing their projects, and then supporting them through the presentation process.

The luncheon was a wonderful opportunity for volunteers to meet each other and to celebrate the work of their protégés. Not to mention, it was an opportunity to share our stories over a delicious meal at the elegant University of Toronto Faculty Club.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.


In Praise of Mentors Concert

May 8th, 2016
Great Hall, Hart House, University of Toronto

Led by Kerry Stratton, Conductor
In Praise of Mentors
Pianist Thomas Torok & Friends

What a wonderful concert it was…

Honouring mentors, especially the Prime Mentors of Canada (PMC) volunteer mentors, who have contributed tremendously in the personal and academic growth of bright young people who are at risk of not developing their full potential!

Thomas Torok
In Praise of Mentors: Pianist Thomas Torok & Friends (photos from concert programme)

The eighteen year old pianist, Thomas Torok, completely took away the breath of the audience for his awesome rendition of Chopin’s Scherzo No. 2, Op. 31 and Liszt’s Hungarian Rhapsody No.6, S244. Equally superlative was the performance of Andrew Chan who made the harp sing so melodiously with the gentle grace and elegance of the touch of his fingers. The delightful musical programme was complemented so very well by Sharon Lee, an accomplished violinist, and the Odin Quartet.

The Prime Mentors of Canada extends its warmest appreciation to the Toronto Concert Orchestra for organizing the event and for dedicating it to mentors on Mother’s Day, invariably everyone’s first mentors, and for raising the awareness of people in the community about PMC and it’s Vision-Mission.

More photos from the event to come!

PMC Alumni Season’s Get Together


Right before the first winter storm of the season, Prime Mentors of Canada alumni gathered to explore the topic of mentorship, discuss the future of PMC, catch up on life, and share some sweet treats! A great time for everyone who could make it!

Are you a PMC alumni? Please contact PMC anytime to connect with fellow alumni and to learn more about what is happening with PMC now!

PMC Season's Greetings

Throwback Thursday! Toronto Star features PMC in 1988

PMC Toronto Star 12061988 SS1
From the Toronto Star Tuesday, December 6, 1988: The Hon. Pauline McGibbons and Professor Conchita Tan-Willman with volunteer mentor Jack Jacobs and protégé Curtis Chambers on the cover of section SS.
PMC Toronto Star 12061988 SS3
From the Toronto Star Tuesday, December 6, 1988: Mentors come to classroom

Nearly 27 years ago Prime Mentors of Canada was featured for the first time (but not the last) in the Toronto Star. Although PMC has come a long way since the article was published, and a lot has changed in education through the years, one thing that remains the same is the need to match volunteer mentors with students. These matches produce a “creative symbiosis” that benefit the young students and the talented volunteers.

To volunteer or learn more, please visit the Prime Mentors of Canada website.


Prime Mentors Community Building Project Grants – Highlights from Spring 2015!

During our annual Prime Mentors Youth Leadership Conference this year, participants were asked to consider ways that they could make a difference in their school communities. They are then asked to work with others in their schools, with the support of a staff member, and develop an action plan that has the potential to improve school life for students in the school. These projects are intended to be short term (completed during the spring term) and Prime Mentors of Canada awards up to $150 to fund each project.

Here are three highlights from the projects that were undertaken this spring!

Anti-Bullying Club
Two grade 6 girls proposed to address the problem of bullying at school. They started an anti-bullying club to encourage a core of committed students to take initiatives to stamp out bullying. Activity days and special assemblies were planned. The club provides a way to help students speak up about bullying issues and hence reduce the problem

Bagels & Business Experience
Two grade 6 boys noticed that students at their school often had lunches delivered late during lunchtime, resulting in little time to eat. They partnered with local restaurants to have bagels and cream cheese delivered on certain days which would be available for sale. The two boys gained business experience while providing a convenient lunch option for their schoolmates.

Bake Sale to Support Ronald McDonald House
Students at one school applied for a grant to fund a current project that involved organizing a bake sale to contribute to Ronald McDonald House. The money was used to purchase baking supplies. In addition to raising money for Ronald McDonald House, we’re sure the community enjoyed the homemade baked goods as well!

Please visit our website to learn more about other Prime Mentor of Canada initiatives or to donate.

What It’s Like to be a Volunteer Mentor with Prime Mentors

Hi everyone,

This is Winnie and I’m your guest blogger for this post. I’ve volunteered as a mentor with Prime Mentors of Canada five times and I’m not done yet!

Here’s some information on what to expect if you decide to volunteer with Prime Mentors:

  1. You’ll receive training during an orientation session and support throughout your time as a volunteer.
  2. You’ll be matched up with a student depending on your preferred location within Toronto and your interests.
  3. You’ll work with the student for about one hour a week during school hours, for about 10 weeks, on an extracurricular project that the student is interested in completing.
  4. The project is capped off with a presentation by the student in front of his/her class and invited guests (parents, school staff, other Prime Mentors volunteers).

Now here are some of my tips for mentoring:

  1. Be open to learning about a brand new topic! The projects I’ve mentored on include photography and photo editing, the Big Bang and the Big Crunch, and AC/DC (yes, the rock band!). I wasn’t familiar with any of these subjects so I had the opportunity to learn with the student.
notes from AC/DC project
Notes from AC/DC project
  1. Keep the presentation in mind! Work towards the presentation from early on.
  2. Be ready to be surprised! Unexpected things will come up. Some might be frustrating but others will be fun and amazing. For one presentation we changed the presentation time multiple times when one scheduling conflict came up after another. During another presentation on Photography and Photo Editing the student brought in Jello to share with the class since gelatin is used in photo development and it’s a key ingredient in Jello.
  3. Even when you’re the mentor, don’t be afraid to ask for guidance! Prime Mentors program coordinators, school staff, and other volunteers are great resources.

By the time the project comes to an end you’ll have put in work, just like the student, and just like the student, you will have learned something worthwhile. If you live in Toronto and you can find the time, please consider volunteering with Prime Mentors of Canada!

If you have any questions about volunteering with Prime Mentors or if you have any tips to share, feel free to leave a comment!

Check out the website to learn more about becoming a volunteer with Prime Mentors of Canada. The first orientation session is Sunday, August 30 and additional sessions will be held throughout the fall. Please email or call 416-267-9938 for details or to sign up.

Orientation sessions will be held in the fall.