Just a few hours a week can change a young person’s life forever.
KidStart is a program for kids age 6+ that provides carefully screened and selected adult volunteers to mentor or “coach” vulnerable children and youth.
At KidStart we know from years of experience that everyone can benefit from a mentor.
More than Twenty-Five Years of Experience
KidStart is a program of PLEA Community Services Society of BC. PLEA is an accredited, non-profit, charitable community services agency, established in 1979. We have a strong reputation for delivering high quality, innovative programs. We champion one-to-one service models in working with people who face significant challenges, and in a way that is personal, effective and respectful.
KidStart is a Prevention and Diversion program and has been operating since 1984.
The young people KidStart helps may be struggling with problems at home, complications at school, problems with peers or in the community.
The mentors encourage young people to develop their own interests, support learning and skill building and open doors so they can discover new, engaging activities in the community. They model positive attitudes and are culturally diverse. Most importantly, the mentors are honest, flexible, creative, patient, reliable and spend time developing a trusting friendship. KidStart relationships are open ended and many remain active for years.
“To see the young person you’re matched with expand and grow because they’ve had someone stable to guide them…to see them grow into responsible, caring people that contribute to society, it’s a rewarding experience.”
-10 year KidStart Volunteer, Ken Story, recipient of Volunteer BC honourable mention for Volunteer of the Year.
We Welcome All Kids
The determination of individuals to make a difference and the perseverance necessary to achieve success, have always been at the root of the effectiveness of PLEA’s programs.
In 1986, while working with youth who had taken a wrong turn, a friend of PLEA, Alasdair Gordon, saw many of their younger siblings heading down the same path. He knew, that without early mentoring and support, these kids would very likely follow their older siblings.
He held this belief so strongly that he donated the funds to start the KidStart Under 12, component of the KidStart Mentoring Program. Alasdair’s vision of early intervention is now recognized as one of the most effective methods for addressing the circumstances that lead kids into difficult, unhealthy situations.
Alasdair continued until his death to make generous donations to the program, helped find volunteer mentors – especially men who are notoriously difficult to recruit – and began a Kid’s Camp Fund and an Endowment Fund. The Kid’s Camp was particularly important to him as it provided the adventure he believed is required to encourage independence and self-determination – vital building blocks for a positive and productive life.
KidStart welcomes any and all kids without qualification.
If you enjoy new experiences and have a positive attitude, we have kids that need you!
KidStart relies on the time and dedication of our volunteer mentors to provide caring and supportive relationships. You must be 19 years or older, prepared to accept a young person unconditionally and able to spend three hours a week or more. No special skills are required but lots of special experiences will be had.
Mentors are carefully screened and supported. There are regular training sessions and ongoing support provided by staff.