Mentoring Programs for Immigrants

December 6, 2011 – Ted Rogers School of Management, Ryerson University

The best aspect of the session was the opportunity to learn from well-established mentoring programs.”   – Participant

Mentoring programs have proven to be effective in helping immigrants achieve their employment goals. Immigrant networks and other organizations run various types of mentoring programs for immigrants. At this learning exchange, network leaders learned about four successful mentoring programs including resources for mentors and evaluation tools. Our partner, Ryerson’s Diversity Institute, hosted the event.

Guest Speakers:

  • Paula Calderon, President and Sandra Riano, Mentoring Director, Canadian Colombian Professional Association – multi-part mentoring (one-step, group & individual mentoring)
  • Debroy Chan, Manager, Mentoring Services, JVS Toronto – e-mentoring
  • Melwyn D’Costa, Manager, Corporate Partnerships, TRIEC Mentoring Partnership – one-on-one mentoring
  • Reza Ghazi, Vice President, Iranian-Canadian Network – group mentoring


Gabriela Casineanu, a former network leader and consultant at Co-active for Future, facilitated a speed peer mentoring session to start the event off. It was an opportunity for leaders to learn about each other’s organizations and exchange information.To get the conversations started, Gabriela prepared sample questions. Eighty-six percent of post-event survey respondents agreed that speed peer mentoring is an effective way to meet others and share information.

Leaders learned about mentoring programs through a marketplace format. The Resources section below includes handouts with an overview of each program. One hundred percent of post-event survey respondents strongly agreed that the marketplace presenters demonstrated excellent subject matter knowledge and 93% of respondents said their networks would benefit from what they learned.


Tips for network leaders:

  • Have a designated program manager
  • Provide guidelines, supports and resources for mentors and mentees
  • Match mentors and mentees in the same occupation
  • Develop a volunteer base of qualified and experienced mentors
  • Recruit committed mentees who have the time to participate fully