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Hundreds of children waiting for a big brother or sister in Toronto

Click to play video: 'Empowering Toronto’s vulnerable youth through mentorship' Empowering Toronto’s vulnerable youth through mentorship
WATCH ABOVE: There’s a mental health crisis among Toronto’s vulnerable youth and Big Brothers Big Sisters Toronto is working hard to address the issue through mentorship. Susan Hay has the story – Feb 18, 2020

Sometimes it’s the simple things in life that can help to change a life like 17-year-old Quentin’s.

“When I first met Quentin, he was this small 10 year old who was very reserved, could barely look anyone in the eye, and didn’t really like talking to people,” recalled Monika Schurmann.

“Slowly as he learned to trust me, we had bigger conversations.”

Schurmann and Quentin came together seven years ago through Big Brothers Big Sisters of Toronto.

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“The organization helps kids who face enormous adversities by putting a positive, consistent adult in their corner, especially at the time when they need it the most,” said Leanne Nicolle, the president and CEO of Big Brothers Big Sisters of Toronto.

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The organization creates life-changing mentoring relationships that fuel the passion and potential in young people.

“I transitioned a few years ago,” said Quentin. “I used to be a little sister and now I’m a little brother.”

“It was a learning experience for me because this is not something that you have manual for,” explained Shurmann.

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“It’s so important to know that someone else is there for me since I was struggling with my identity and struggling with life since going into high school,” he said.

What started out as a commitment to volunteer just eight hours a month has turned into the perfect match for Shurmann and Quentin.

Meanwhile, Nicolle said there are about 380 children on a wait list to join the Big Brothers Big Sisters of Toronto program and nearly 42,000 others who would be eligible to join.

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