News

The Impact of COVID-19 on GEMGirls

Written By
Communications
May 11, 2020

GEM recently checked in with our mentees to determine how the pandemic has had an impact on their daily lives, and their concerns for the future.  

Our goal was to understand the health and wellness of GEM mentees both now and in the future, and how they think GEM can best adapt to this new and ever-changing environment.  

Based on their feedback, many mentees are facing anxiety, stress and loneliness. Mentees are struggling to adapt to this new normal and are particularly affected by:  

  • The cancellation of school  
  • Lack of motivation
  • Loss of a social network

Almost all mentees are worried about how the pandemic is impacting their high school education. They are concerned with the disruption of their school year, its potential to negatively impact their grades, and the implications this may have on their future goals.  

Concerns for the future

“I am concerned about my schooling, my grades and my ability to finance my post-secondary education. Not being able to go to work puts a further strain on my financial resources for university.”

The GEM mentees are extremely driven, motivated young women who are committed to seeking opportunities that will help them succeed. The COVID-19 pandemic has halted their future plans, resulting in immense stress and uncertainty.  

Over 60% of mentees indicated a concern for how this will impact their grades and future educational career. Mentees indicated additional concerns including:  

  • Missing milestone events (prom, graduation, etc.)
  • The uncertainty about university acceptance and scholarships  
  • Loss of summer jobs or lack of future professional opportunities

Many mentees are worried about finding future employment, and the difficulties they may face financing their university career.  

Overcoming adversity

Despite these challenges, the mentees have demonstrated resounding candour, strength and optimism that will help see them through this crisis.  

Each month, the GEM curriculum includes a 21st century skill and May is focused on developing grit and perseverance. In addition to increased communication and providing extra resources, GEM will continue to support mentees on persevering through this trying time.  

Read more about the measures GEM has taken to ensure our mentorship program will continue in the best way forward.

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