GEM Voices

Mentorship is at the core of our program. Sharing the stories and experiences of our GEM mentees and their mentors, help bring our program impact to life.


Alumna, 2015

“In my senior year of high school, I struggled with stress and self-doubt. I often let others’ cultural and religious discrimination (real or perceived) play into my low self-esteem and self-doubt. The path towards my future felt overwhelming and unclear. Despite this, I had goals. Big ones.

GEM allowed me to let the confidence I knew I had all along shine through. Mentorship provided me with the tools I needed to succeed. Having a mentor who would listen to me without judgment and help me to control my anxiety, gave me confidence. After GEM, I have a clear vision of where I want to go and what I want to do – nothing will stand in my way!”


Alumna, 2015

“Thanks to GEM and my mentor, I realized that even though you may not come from a wealthy background, you can achieve your dreams. I strongly believe that it’s important that we invest time and money into programs like GEM, because these young females are our future and they have dreams that are bigger than the neighbourhoods they come from. GEM has taught me that it doesn’t matter if you’re a first generation Canadian or if you’re from one of the lowest income areas in Toronto because if you have people who can support you in programs like this, you can still get into a prestigious undergraduate program and you can end up working full time at the largest bank in Canada.

This program gave me the opportunity to own my future and I can’t wait to see what else is in store.”


Alumna, 2017

“Regardless of the challenges I’ve faced, I was determined to regain that confidence I once had and become the successful leader I knew I was born to be. GEM was there to provide that stepping stone for success that I needed and the guidance I was seeking. Thanks to GEM, I’m not afraid to dream big.”


Alumna, 2018

“I have always been scared of uncertainty and feared rejection. GEM taught me that rejection is simply a redirection and that I will have no problems finding my own path. Having guidance from my mentor, I now have more confidence in my skills and abilities. Through GEM, I was provided guidance through my final year of high school and as I prepare to embark on the next chapter of my life.”


Alumna, 2019

"The GEM program opened my eyes to a whole new world. Through the program, I was able to meet so many inspiring women and visit several different workplaces, giving me a glimpse into the different fields that I could pursue. Having direct access to a mentor helped me gain confidence and knowledge from someone who had more experience than do. I have learned so much and I am very grateful for all of the opportunities I was given as a GEM mentee."


Mentor, 2020

“I became a mentor to provide support to high school girls facing barriers. I genuinely enjoy getting to know GEM girls whom I have no doubt will become our future leaders! We discuss goal setting, accessing post-secondary education, networking and time management. GEM provides female students with the opportunity to gain access to and feel comfortable in a professional environment and meet and dialogue with many professional women.”


Mentor, 2019

“I first learned about GEM when I was asked to speak on a panel for RBC. By spending this one morning with GEM, I quickly realized how extraordinary the organization is and applied to be a mentor for the following cohort. I became a mentor because I was impressed with the caliber of mentees, mentors and the impact that the organization has on these bright young women. GEM provides a strong network to allow mentees to learn not only from their direct mentors, but other mentors and leaders from top organizations such as LinkedIn, RBC and Google.  As the year progressed, I could see mentees gain more confidence and heard numerous stories about how they had successfully applied what they learned to real life situations. My mentee was a high performing grade 12 student.  We spent time getting to know each other through the formal GEM sessions, lunches, and other fun activities. She asked me for advice, we discussed her goals, which university she was applying to and when the time came, I helped with reviewing her applications. I enjoyed getting to know her and was honoured to be included in the group of mentors. Not only was it a rewarding experience to help provide guidance for my mentee, but through information mentor mixers I was also able to meet so many incredible women mentors; all successful professionals from various industries with the goal paying it forward and developing our future leaders. I am confident that our future is brighter because of GEM!”


Mentor, 2020

“I first learned about GEM a few months into motherhood. While home on maternity leave with a newborn, I found myself thinking a lot about the example I wanted to set and the values I hoped to instill in my daughter. Outside of kindness, equity and working hard towards your goals, supporting community and building connections was top of mind. Serendipitously, applications to apply to mentor with GEM opened around the same time, prompting me to put my hand up.

Two years into mentoring with GEM, I continue to be in awe of the ambition and drive of GEM girls. Simultaneously, I see their anxiety and fear about making mistakes or not knowing the exact path to someone else's definition of success. Female mentorship is important to me because it creates space for vulnerability, sharing examples of overcoming challenges and discussing the importance of resilience. While my mentees and I have discussed pathways to success and goal setting extensively, I feel that some of our most meaningful discussions have focused on the importance of failure and how to get back up. In 2019, my parting words of advice to my mentee were ‘Be brave enough to be bad at something new.’

I am deeply honoured to be involved with GEM and love introducing friends and colleagues to the program. In 2019 I organized a team of colleagues to run the annual Yorkville 5km in support of GEM and collectively we helped the organization raise over $20,000 to expand the program. You don't have to look further than a Geminar to see the impact that GEM is having on the lives of the young women it supports - I've witnessed girls enter the program and leave events walking taller, putting their hand up and engaging in meaningful dialogue that months earlier they would've been too timid to initiate. If I can have any small part in helping a young woman build confidence and navigate their future, I'm all in.”


Mentor, 2020

"When I first heard about the GEM program, I thought about what it would have been like to have a mentor when I was navigating high school and making decisions about my future career path.  I joined GEM so that I could become the mentor that I wish my 16-year-old self had. Connecting with women who are thriving in their careers, provides the GEMgirls with opportunities to learn about career possibilities outside of the classroom. The mentor/mentee relationship also provides an opportunity for the girls to learn that they do not need to "have it all together or know all the answers" because life, adulthood and careers are constantly evolving journeys.  The GEMinars are one of my favorite parts of the program as they provide valuable learning and networking opportunities for both mentees and mentors. I am highly impressed by all the GEM girls who are brilliant and will definitely make a positive impact in their communities and the world."


Gem Mentor

"Being a mentor with GEM has been a great way to aspire young girls to think about purpose-driven careers. As a young female leader in Global Health, GEM's resources and set-up with its touchpoints facilitated my interactions with my mentee over the course of the program, getting her to think about her own goal setting and purpose-driven considerations when thinking of her career. Even when our work demanded travel or immediate priorities, I believe GEM holds a unique perspective to mentorship, clearly understanding both the needs of their mentees but also the realistic availabilities of their mentors. Furthermore, I have also taken forward the learnings and useful tips from their GEMinars in my personal and professional life."