BAM Mentors Help Ease the Transition to High School for Elementary Students

Category: District

The legacy of Brandon Bassi lives on at North Delta Secondary through Brandon’s All-Star Mentors (BAM) – a mentorship program that helps elementary students feel more comfortable entering high school and provides them with valuable leadership skills.

This year, 46 mentors from Grades 9-12 have been meeting with local elementary school students to familiarize them with the mentorship program and provide any support they need. In the coming weeks, BAM mentors will be writing letters to grade 7 students about high school, including information about the best vending machine, best study spots, hallway etiquette and other related topics. They are also scheduled to participate in environmental clean-ups in the community, a sports day/carnival, and a food drive.

“Since the beginning of this program, the goal has been on understanding how to create secure connections between a mentor and a mentee in school and community settings,” said Grade 12 student Sahibnoor Sidhu.

“I know from experience the nervousness that is associated with starting high school,” said Grade 12 student Jasleen Dhillon. “This program works as an outlet for elementary students to express their questions and doubts prior to beginning their time in high school, and it allows us as mentors to shed light on how we overcame the exact challenges they are concerned about.”

“Coming into high school can be a difficult transition for many. It can be one of the first major life changes for some people. Luckily for me, I had three older siblings who had gone through the same experience ahead of me. Knowing that I had a familiar face in this strange new environment to answer my seemingly silly questions alleviated so much of my stress,” said Grade 12 student Joie Marin.

“Spending time getting to know each other has taught me how relatability is the key to sharing advice and lessons that will successfully resonate with others. Understanding how to communicate with different age groups and maintaining the perfect medium between a friendship and mentorship has been a great learning experience,” added Jasleen Dhillon.

“As mentors, we have had the wonderful opportunity to learn from trailblazers who have not only impacted our community but our entire country,” said Grade 12 student Vamakshi Parikh. “Through these amazing guest speakers, we have been able to switch roles and become mentees ourselves, asking questions and getting advice to help us become better mentors,” added Sahibnoor Sidhu.

Brandon, who was an SFU student, Whitecaps prospect and NDSS alumnus, approached teachers Mr. Hundal and Mr. Sandhu a few months after the 2018/2019 school year began and discussed the possibility of starting up a program to help Grade 7 students as they enter high school. Tragically he passed away a few months later in a car accident. Subsequently, they started BAM to honour Brandon’s vision. Kudos to Brandon’s All-Star Mentors and Mr. Hundal and Mr. Sandhu for their commitment to supporting elementary students at this important transition in their lives. BAM has also received support from the Brandon Bassi Foundation and North Delta Secondary’s Principal, Mr. Akune.