Local Journalism Initiative Reporter
Indigenous youth and young adults will have an opportunity to participate in an online mentoring event created by three partners later this month.
The event, which is for Indigenous people age 18 to 30, is called the Indigenous Power of Mentoring: Focused Connections.
The 90-minute event, which is scheduled for Jan. 20, is part of National Mentoring Month.
Every January there is a campaign to recognize the value of mentorship and to celebrate mentors in various communities across the country.
Via its Indigenous Partner Network (IPN), representatives from Starbucks Canada will engage with Indigenous individuals during this month’s event.
Both Indigenous and non-Indigenous Starbucks employees will share personal stories and offer advice on how to succeed in the working world.
The Starbucks reps are also expected to encourage those participants in the event to apply for various positions within the company.
“This would be a great opportunity for youth interested in a job at Starbucks,” said Tanya Tourangeau, the Indigenous Engagement Lead for MENTOR Canada, one of the event partners. “There’s many opportunities. You don’t have to just be a barista to work at Starbucks. There are opportunities in marketing, product development and to work in management.”
Those interested in registering for the event can do so here:
The event is expected to begin with four IPN panelists. They will share personal stories of success and challenges faced during their Starbucks Canada employment.
Smaller breakout group discussions will then be held. The panelists will be able to offer additional insights within these groups on how to successfully find details during a job search, prepare for a possible interview and then provide some tips on how to be successful upon hiring.
“This would be a great door opener for youth interested in a job,” Tourangeau said.
She is hoping about 100 people from across Canada register for the event.
“But we’re not going to limit it because many Starbucks employees are looking to become mentors,” Tourangeau said.
Tourangeau added the event is not being treated as a job fair.
“The main goal is to build social capital,” she said. “(Starbucks officials) may end up offering employment but they want to start their reconciliation journey. We want them to build their professional networks. And there’s great interest from Starbucks in increasing its Indigenous workforce.”
Tourangeau said this isn’t the first time Starbucks Canada has partnered with MENTOR Canada, a national coalition of organizations that provide youth mentoring, for an event.
MENTOR Canada officials helped organize an event this past September featuring reps from Starbucks Canada and Deloitte Canada.
“It was fantastic, so much so that Starbucks wants to continue doing these events throughout the year,” Tourangeau said.
She said the January event is expected to be the first of four quarterly events that Starbucks reps are hoping to stage in 2022.
Because of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, events for the immediate future will be held online. But that could change down the road.
“They may be in person in the future,” Tourangeau said.
The IPN is one of 10 current Starbucks Canada partner networks. It was established in 2020.
Levi Delorme, a Vancouver-based Starbucks district manager, said IPN’s mission is “to share and celebrate the traditions of our ancestors, to increase the impact of Indigenous partners and build stronger connections with our customers and communities.”
Other Starbucks partner networks include the Black Partner Network, Disability Advocacy Network, Women’s Impact Network and Welcoming Refugees Alliance.
“Our aim is to create trusted spaces where everyone can be heard with equality, honesty, and where respectful dialogue is fostered,” Delorme said. “At Starbucks we believe in equal opportunity and that everyone belongs.”
Another partner of this month’s event is the Influence Mentoring Program, an initiative which received plenty of recognition this past year when the actor Ryan Reynolds and his wife Blake Lively, also an actor, provided the initiative with a donation of $250,000.
The Influence Mentoring Program is an online venture that enables Indigenous post-secondary students in Canada to participate in a mentoring program.
The goal of the organization is to create better opportunities for Indigenous students and to also enable mentors to have a better understanding of Indigenous issues, history and culture.
Local Journalism Initiative Reporters are supported by a financial contribution made by the Government of Canada.