Tri-mentoring program gets $1 million gift to expand outreach

Marking their 15th anniversary, Ryerson’s Tri-Mentoring Program (TMP) plans to expand their outreach after receiving a $1 million gift from BMO Financial Group this month.

The program offers mentorship opportunities to a diverse student body across various faculties on campus. Their mission is to help first-year students ease into their new post-secondary lifestyle with help from upper-year students with similar academic and cultural interests. With BMO’s funding, Martinez says the program’s team of nearly 15,000 mentors and mentees on campus will do more to reach students who may be underserved, including Aboriginals, LGBTQ students and people with disabilities.

Mentors at the TMP office.


Mentoring officer Allysa Martinez said the gift was well-timed and a rewarding surprise for the program. “It was another thing to help us say, ‘We are turning 15 this year — help us grow on that and expand on our program for years to come.’”

The million-dollar gift will also go towards planning the program’s next projects as they work to create more group mentoring on campus. A portion of the funding will be dedicated to business students seeking to expand their career options. It will also help support Youth in Focus photography workshops for high school students at the Ryerson Image Centre.

The goal is to support groups that haven’t received as much attention in the past, including Latino and Portuguese students, as well as students in programs with high dropout rates, such as engineering and science. Another priority is mature students, who transition to university differently than those coming in straight from high school.

“We are trying to reach out to groups we never had a chance to reach out to before,” Martinez said.

Martinez noted the program is still researching how to best engage these groups before they launch their new ideas. They want to make sure they are looking out for the best interests of the student body.

“We are trying to take it slow for specific reasons and be intentional in the work that we do,” she said. “We don’t want to rush into anything and realize that we are providing all this stuff and then that’s not what the students wanted.”

“We are serving very specific groups with very specific needs and we want to find out what those needs are from the students themselves.”

Click on the images below to hear what members of the Tri-Mentoring Program have to say about it!

With audio and visual files from Cole Deakin.

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