Hart House Mentorship Program


What is it?

Graduate students and mature part-time undergraduate students at the University of Toronto told us that they were looking for more opportunities to work with mentors. As coincidence would have it, Hart House has a wealth of accomplished, engaged and generous alumni, friends and senior members with a wide variety of life experiences who welcome the chance to develop mutually-rewarding one-on-one mentor-mentee relationships with graduate and mature students. We have put two and two together and developed the Hart House Mentorship Program. In the 2018-2019 academic year, this program will involve approximately forty (40) matched pairs.


What Makes This Program Unique?

Most mentorship programs tend to focus on providing only career-related advice and networking opportunities to participating mentees. However, in keeping with the spirit and tradition of Hart House – where broad, holistic and lifelong education has been our commitment to students for almost a century – the Hart House Mentorship Program matches mentors and mentees on the basis of both their professional pursuits and ambitions AND their personal priorities, interests and passions. In many cases, mentees will be matched with mentors who have similar interests, but are in completely different career fields. Engaged in the arts? Committed fitness enthusiast? Advocate for social justice? This may be the mentorship program for you.


Benefits of Being a Student Mentee

If you are either a graduate student or a mature part-time undergraduate student at the University of Toronto, you are eligible to apply to the Hart House Mentorship Program for 2018-2019.

There are many benefits to be gained through your participation. They include:

  • Expanding your professional and personal networks;
  • Discovering new strengths and building on existing ones;
  • Increasing your confidence in social and business settings;
  • Enhancing your engagement in the broader community; and
  • Learning from the experience and acquired wisdom of a committed supporter.


“I am grateful for the connections I made through the Hart House mentorship program, both with the other student participants and especially with my mentor. I was really excited when I learned who I’d been paired with. He is a world-experienced and interesting person that I doubt I would have connected with on my own. We had conversations that I’d describe as thought-provoking, enjoyable and influential (for me).”

—Donna Vakalis, PhD Candidate, Civil Engineering
Canadian Olympic Team Member 2012 & 2016

“I was pleasantly surprised that the program was able to match me with a mentor who shares similar cultural interests and passions even though we are in different fields. I enjoyed meeting up with my mentor who was always open to sharing her perspective as a successful creative innovator. The experience of being a mentee broadened my horizons and I would recommend this program to other graduate students who might want a different perspective outside of academia.”

—Jennifer Lau, PhD Candidate, East Asian Studies
Co-Editor of Fête Chinoise

Applications are closed for the 2018-2019 program.  Please check back in the summer of 2019 to apply for the next program. 

Student Mentee Application Form >>

Benefits of Being a Mentor

Serving as a mentor will allow you the opportunity to provide a graduate student or mature part-time undergraduate student with:

  • Access to professional and social networks;
  • Focused attention on the discovery of new strengths and the reinforcement of existing ones;
  • Increased confidence in social and business settings;
  • Introductions to communities of interest outside the classroom; and
  • Encouragement in the discernment of professional pathways.

Mentors will have the satisfaction of knowing that they are helping to provide direction and opportunities to a student that could help change the course of his or her life for the better. In fact, many mentors report that they benefit at least as much from the process of mentoring as do their mentees, and oftentimes more.

“In addition to the intrinsic reward of working with my mentee, I found particular value in the insights I learned about the options, challenges and strategies students are confronted with, and how they approach them.”

—Richard Bingham, Hart House Mentor

“After many years it felt so good to reconnect with Hart House and to be part of the inaugural mentorship program. It reminded me of what makes Hart House so unique and special. Furthermore I was paired up with an impressive and thoughtful student and as with all relationships, I found the mentoring experience to be a two way street of sharing and learning.”

—Paula Glick (BA, Innis College)
Vice President, Institutional Sales & Business Development at MSCI
Executive Director of Syrinx Concerts Toronto

Mentor Application Form >>

What are the Details of the 2018-19 Program

  • The 2018-2019 mentorship program will run from the autumn of 2018 until the summer of 2019, though individual mentors and mentees may wish to extend their mentor/mentee relationship beyond this timeframe.
  • Each mentor and mentee will decide together how often they would like to meet, but a minimum of three (3) meetings over coffee or a light meal during the course of the year (2 initiated by the mentor, 1 by the mentee) is strongly recommended.
  • Hart House will host a reception for all mentors and mentees to officially “launch” this initiative in the fall of 2018.
  • All program participants will receive special invitations to a number of additional Hart House events throughout the year.


For more information about the Hart House Mentorship Program, please contact Andrea Blackler, Development Coordinator, Hart House at andrea.blackler@utoronto.ca or 416-946-7325.

Curious about other ways to get involved at Hart House? Visit our alumni & community page to discover the many ways to stay connected and enjoy all that Hart House has to offer.