Youth Food for Thought is a non-profit student-led initiative that provides low-income students in grades 7 and 8 with academic and interpersonal mentorship. The primary goal of this initiative is to increase knowledge of educational, extracurricular, and financial opportunities for students of low-income immigrant or refugee background. Presentations on academic success, secondary and post-secondary education, and extracurriculars will be provided to students in the program. Additionally, this program aims to address food insecurities students may face by providing them with a meal and take-home snacks at each group-mentorship meeting.
To run this initiative, students from the University of Toronto will be recruited to volunteer their time to mentor and supervise the mentees. Members may have roles in contacting sponsors, making presentations, supervising the meetings, or logistical tasks. This club will work with external sponsors in the community to provide the mentees with food. The mentorship meetings will take place twice a month at pre-booked rooms at the University of Toronto to expose the student participants to a post-secondary setting. This program will be launched with 7-15 mentees in the fall/winter semester of the 2023/2024 school year. Ultimately, Youth Food for Thought focuses on mitigating the barriers that typically hinder low-income students’ involvement in higher education.