John Howard Society of Belleville

Peer Mentor Program

What makes our program different, but successful is that we use Youth Peer Mentors with lived experience to work with ALL youth around Hasting’s County to help them see the potential in themselves to continue their education using a trauma informed lens. Our Peer Mentors grow up in very similar circumstances that many of the youth we work with experience personally, which allows them to work with the youth in a more personalized way. From there, Peer Mentors can also become a bridge to community resources available for youth using a plan they determine, through coaching, to overall support their transition and overcome barriers that impact their ability to succeed.

Meet your Peer Mentors



Syara Simpson

Syara Simpson

I love music, animals, sports, anything to do with being outside, 4 wheeling, drift events, cars, and the nice summer weather.

Pronouns: She/Her

Bio: My goal through John Howard Society is to help our youth who are struggling. I don’t want anyone to feel alone while they are going through a hard time/struggling because I know how it feels. I got this amazing opportunity through a professor in the Child and Youth Care program at Loyalist who thought I would do great as a Peer Youth Mentor. My self and my fellow Peer Youth Mentors want to make a difference and help our youth see their potential and that they can do anything they set their mind to. We pave the path by walking.

If you would like to contact our Peer Mentors, you can:


Phone:                   John Howard and ask for Peer Mentors – 613-968-6628

Facebook:           When There’s Youth There’s a Way

Instagram:          @whentheresyouththersaway


Train the Trainer Program: We believe every youth has the potential to be a future Peer Mentor after they move on from our program, which is why we have decided to implement a “Train the Trainer” addition to our program. If a youth we are working with expresses interest in wanting to know more, we can help them build a portfolio designed for aspiring Peer Mentors. Every portfolio can be custom made by the youth, with help from the Peer Mentor acting as an advisor for the construction of their portfolio. Youth can also include anyone who is close to them to act as an advisor to support them, and our Community Partners can help connect youth with resources to build their educational credentials (or a PHD in Life as we like to call it!!)