It's fun to stay - and volunteer - at the YWCA.
YWCA Metro Vancouver is looking for about eight volunteers in the Surrey area for Boys 4 Real, an after-school mentorship program targeted at Grade 7 boys who are transitioning into high school.
The seven-week program teaches youth about such tough issues as bullying and cyberbullying, sexting and media literacy that teen and preteen males face today.
"The goal of the program is really to help them navigate through some of the difficult choices that they have to make when they're in this vulnerable and impressionable time in their lives," said Chantelle Krish, manager of advocacy and public relations with the YWCA Metro Vancouver.
Boys 4 Real - which has run in Vancouver for 10 years and recently expanded to Surrey - provides mentors who can offer insight and guidance to students through group discussions and community-building exercises. Mentors range from Grade 11 and 12 students to young adults in university to men in their early 30s.
Jacob Tamminga, a 17-year-old student at Earl Marriott Secondary, volunteered with the program last fall and will continue to mentor this spring. Tamminga said the Grade 7 students are sometimes more receptive to teenage role models who have less of a difference in age.
"I was a youth who they could more openly talk to and feel comfortable with, and I had more recent experience in high school that I could share with them to help them through areas that maybe I struggled with," said Tamminga.
Boys 4 Real starts up at a handful of Surrey schools in February and runs into April. The deadline for volunteer recruitment is Jan. 31. To apply, contact Elske Hopcraft at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 604-895-5845.