Mentorship Initiatives

Grow Boys Red Deer established its first collaborative wrap-around partner with the Knights In Training Mentorship Project several years ago. Through the generous support of the Red Deer Public School District's New Initiative Program, a partnership with Red Deer College Psychology/ Humanities Department and the volunteer mentorship efforts of Red Deer high school students, the materials and mentors were put in place to initiate an action research mentoring project at in various schools throughout the city.

Dozens of boys participated as protege "Knights in Training" (aka KIT). KIT is a mentorship program designed by Jenny Limoges and Travis Moon, two university students from Calgary who wanted to provide high school boys interested in leadership the opportunity to mentor pre-teen and middle school boys. Through the mentorship program, the younger boys explored five domains of growing up healthy and happy using the game of chess as a foundation.

KIT uses the chess playing pieces to symbolize elements of learning that the program is designed to address. The king and queen represent GOALS; the rook represents IDENTITY; the bishop represents SAFETY; the knight represents COMMITMENT and the pawn represents COMPASSION. The learning begins within the ten-hour program when the mentors and protege's construct their own chess pieces out of modeling clay. The finished pieces will be stored in a wooden box that participants will also design to become the chessboard once unfolded by applying square tiles to the top of the box. 

The project continues as participants explore each chess piece's role in the game, and how they can apply these roles within their personal lives. The project is intended to be monitored by participating teachers. The research surrounding the pilot project was conducted and compiled by Tyler Duffy, a fourth-year psychology student under the supervision of his instructor, Dr. Greg Wells.

We learned a great deal about mentorship and how to connect boys of all ages with each other to address their individual and collective needs in collaborative and caring ways. We are currently in the process of designing a new mentorship context under our own HOPE Wheel philosophy. Check out for information and context about what we're up to.