Mentoring matters at Skills for Change

How three different mentorships have led toward successful careers for newcomers

Knowledge is a powerful thing. At Skills for Change, we understand the value of career experience and the practicality of industry familiarity. Providing newcomers with employment opportunities is one of our most important responsibilities, but there is also great value in partnering a new immigrant with a mentor who understands an industry from the standpoint of an insider.

The Mentoring for Change program at Skills for Change in Toronto has contributed 25 years toward assisting internationally educated professionals in their settlement processes, language skills development and entrepreneurship guidance. These partnerships have led toward countless rewarding careers and often contribute to a stronger understanding of their respective workplace cultures.

The following three examples will highlight exciting mentorship experiences, including a civil engineer, a lawyer and the story of a mentee who became a mentor herself. Each of these success stories examines the importance of a professional mentorship and proves just how impactful these relationships are for immigrants who find it difficult to adjust to the Canadian workplace.


Santaji Patil.

Santaji’s mentoring story

Santaji is an internationally trained civil engineer with more than 13 years of experience in the construction industry. Santaji was matched with mentor Javier Mena Diep, an established civil engineer working in Canada.

Through this mentoring, Santaji was able to learn more about how to successfully use the core engineering skills in transformation process.

He also received relevant job leads from his mentor who encouraged him to apply for work in his field. He soon found contracting related to civil engineering field and has even participated in the development of a high-rise building in downtown Toronto. And today he is about to complete his first assignment of 52-storey high-rise tower in downtown Toronto.


Nabil’s mentoring story


Nabil is an internationally educated lawyer who, with the help of Skills for Change, was connected with mentor Ron Booth, an established Canadian lawyer. Ron had retired from formal practice, but he effectively coached and encouraged Nabil and made him confident in applying for work in the Canadian legal field.

Nabil’s hard work and determination to excel combined with his positive attitude and resilience soon enabled him to find an exciting and rewarding employment opportunity related to his field as a lawyer.

Even after his employment, the young mentee and his mentor stayed connected, and Nabil continued to have Ron’s help throughout the Ontario Bar licensing process. Ron has also connected Nabil with other legal professionals in Toronto and this helped him improve his professional network. The mentor’s dedication and the mentee’s determination to succeed are the ingredients that formed a mentorship connection that thrives on professional success.


Celia’s mentoring story


When Celia first arrived in Canada, she came with her resumé prepared and had already researched several organizations where she could apply for work. She quickly realized that Canada and Brazil had considerably different job markets and found it very challenging to find opportunities in her field.

Celia eventually found the Skills for Change Mentoring for Change program and she knew it was the right place to develop her job searching skills and improve the chances of getting hired in her chosen professional field. Through her mentors, Celia learned how to properly draft targeted resumés and cover letters for specific jobs she wanted to apply for. Her mentors also encouraged her to attend job fairs and workshops where she began to build her professional network.

“The Mentoring for Change program was so helpful that now I want to be able to share this with other newcomers,” Celia tells us about her experience with the program. “I think I can relate and hopefully inspire them to stay focused and not give up, as hard as it may seem in the beginning.”

Celia is currently working as a health and safety manager at Modern Niagara, Toronto Inc. She is now an active mentor in our program. In addition, she shared job leads from her company.  As a former mentee, she has definitely payed it forward.

Are you interested in finding or becoming a mentor at Skills for Change?

We welcome individuals from all professional backgrounds to become part of the mentoring program.

To participate in Skills for Change’s mentoring program, you can register directly here via our e-mentoring portal at

For more information about these services, please contact us at:

Phone: 416-658-3101 ext. 0

Email: [email protected]