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Give a Heart at Boston Pizza This February

The other day I was reminiscing with an old friend about high school, and we started talking about which were our favourite and least favourite teachers. It had been a while, but that conversation reminded me of my old English Lit teacher, Mr. Z. He was an older guy with grown kids of his own who enjoyed reading Chaucer out loud in Old English and sneaking cigarettes behind the portables after school. Mr. Z was one of those teachers who loved teaching and genuinely liked kids, even us snotty teenagers, and he made English literature interesting.

Around then, I was going through a hard time at home and missing a lot of classes. I didn’t tell anybody at the time, but I was seriously considering dropping out of high school. Mr. Z noticed that things weren’t right, and over a few cigarettes after class he convinced me to talk. He made arrangements with the school administration to provide me with bus fare to help me get to school, and he convinced me to keep coming, even if I didn’t make it every day. He was the reason I finished high school, and it was his support that encouraged me to apply for university and scholarships. We lost touch after high school, but I still think about him every once in a while.

Many of us have had mentors like Mr. Z who made a difference in our lives, but not everyone is so lucky. Having reaped the benefit of more than one mentor in my life, I know firsthand how valuable positive role models can be.

This February, Boston Pizza is celebrating their annual Valentine’s Day campaign in support of mentorship for kids, so they extended an invitation to my girls and me to have a conversation about the importance of mentorship over some heart-shaped pizza.

All month long, Boston Pizza will be raising awareness and donations for the Boston Pizza Foundation Future Prospects which works to connect kids in need with positive role models in their communities. $1 from every pizza sold on February 14th this year will go to support the Boston Pizza Foundation’s work.

We visited our local Boston Pizza and ordered one of their signature pizzas for dinner. Of course, both my girls were enchanted with the pizza’s heart shape. It took a little convincing before they were willing to have me serve slices!

Spicy perogie pizza – my favourite!

While we enjoyed our meal, I started to talk about mentors. The very first thing Kay said was, “No, don’t want a Dementor!” (We are a Harry Potter family, after all!) So then followed an explanation of what a mentor is: not a scary flying monster in a black robe, but someone we learn from and look up to. Once they understood, Tee said, “Oh, I have a mentor! My teacher Ms. Andrea teaches me and helps me be really good! And you too! You’re my mentor too.” They get it!

Tee and Kay both attend Montessori programs. In Montessori schools, kids are grouped into three year classes instead of individual grades like mainstream schools. This means all the 3 to 5-year-olds are in one class, as are the 6 to 8-year-olds, 9 to 11-year-olds, and so on. This unique arrangement creates a built-in mentorship relationship between older and younger students. My kids have learned so much from the older students in their classes who help teach and guide them. Now that they know the term, they’re both excited to become mentors too when they’re the oldest in their class.

We finished our enlightening meal with a decadent dessert: this Future Prospects dessert with red velvet cake, cheesecake mousse, berry sauce, whipped cream, and a white chocolate coin. It’s not just a tasty treat though. $1 from every dessert sold goes to Boston Pizza Foundation Future Prospects.

Mentors come in many forms: parents, grandparents, teachers, coaches, bosses, even Jedi masters! Most of us had a mentor at some point in our lives, but 1 in 3 Canadian kids don’t get enough time with a positive role model, and that’s why we support the Boston Pizza Foundation.

For over 25 years, the Boston Pizza Foundation Future Prospects has been dedicated to connecting kids in need to role models in their own communities so they have the guidance, mentorship, and support necessary to reach their full potential. Boston Pizza provides more than 200,000 hours of mentorship every year, and they’ve provided more than $24 million in donations to date for charity partners like Big Brothers Big Sisters, JDRF, Kids Help Phone, The Rick Hansen Foundation, and Live Different.

How You Can Help

This month you can help kids in 3 different ways!

  • Purchase any pizza on February 14th and $1 will go to the Boston Pizza Foundation Future Prospects.
  • Order a Future Prospects dessert and $1 will be donated to the Foundation.
  • Or give directly by donating $2 for a paper heart. Not only will your heart cut-out help the Foundation and honour your mentor, but you’ll also get $5 off your next meal at Boston Pizza!

Boston Pizza is a fantastic place to celebrate Valentine’s Day this year! Enjoy a dinner out with good food and friendly people, and help connect kids in your community with positive role models who will help them succeed.

Our friendly server, Nicole

Learn more and connect with the Boston Pizza Foundation on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

Did you have a mentor? What difference did it make in your life?

Win a $50 Boston Pizza Gift Card!

Boston Pizza wants to help one of my readers treat their mentor to a special meal out with a $50 Boston Pizza gift card. This giveaway is open to residents of Canada only, 18+. Enter in the giveaway widget below. All the winner’s entries will be verified.

Win a $50 Boston Pizza Gift Card (CAN, 3/1)

Click here to check out my other open giveaways and be sure to follow me on Facebook!

Disclosure: This is a sponsored conversation. Nevertheless, all opinions expressed are completely honest and my own, based on my personal experience. Your experience may differ.

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    • My gymnastics coach! Taught me the importance of perseverance, dedication and hard-work! These skills have helped me excel during school , job applications and every day life. I definitely think it’s important for children to have mentors!

  • I volunteered to mentor teenagers in an afterschool program and I saw very positive results. Improved grades, confidence and direction in life are just a few things I witnessed. Not all kids need it but there are definitely some who benefit greatly from it.

  • My Mom is a mentor in my life when i got sick with MS at a early age she helped me through it and she is still there for me today at 91……an amazing woman

  • I had a mentor in my 1st job after University – he gave me insights into the company that would have otherwise taken me years to learn

  • Because I lost my father at a young age, the local shop keeper where I worked part time was sort of my mentor and helped me along the way through my teenage years. He has just turned 90 and I still keep in touch with him.

  • My grandmother was my mentor and she was great. She taught me about hard work, respect, and kindness. This has made me a much better person today.

  • I have had a part time mentor. I think it is so important to have someone in your life to support you in your passions.

  • My mom is my mentor. She taught me too many things to mention. It is important for everyone to have someone to guide them.

  • I think mentorship can be so valuable…to both the mentor & the mentee. My hubby had the most wonderful mentor at his job when he got out of business school. And that person has ‘had his back’ in the industry even 2 company-moves later!

  • The closest to a mentor I’ve had would be my mother- the one person who has supported me, given me advice and still been around when I’ve made my own mistakes!

  • I’m not sure i had a mentor, but i’m pretty sure one was needed. My high school wasn’t me actually trying. I just went through the motions. In one class I actually tried. I tried to have a higher grade then the classmate. I told her at the end of the year. She used to be my bestie. I have no idea what happened. Now we’re just acquaintance. I can say I don’t have a best friend, one to share EVERYthing with. There’s a lot inside……..

  • One of my first year university professors became a mentor to me. He gave me advice and encouragement throughout my schooling that I otherwise would never have gotten.

  • I had a mentor at Berklee College of Music..he was kind, talented and knowelgable. So, not only did he teach me music..I gained character. Nice!

  • I’ve never had a mentor, but I think it’s important. My kids are amazing at helping out other kids at their school. 🙂

  • I had a mentor when I first entered the work force. I worked with him for 10 years and received a ton of beneficial insight and support.

  • Never had a mentor in my life. My parents did a wonderful job raising me to appreciate things in life and how to manage my finances.

  • I think I’ve had many mentors throughout my 50 years! My mom for sure. I have had a doctor of 30 years who helped save my life after heart failure. She is an amazing lady who inspired me to fight for my life literally!

  • Mentorship is important because I think you need to see and hear from someone who faced obstacles when they were younger and not only did they go over them, they leaped over them.

  • I had a great mentor at my first retail job. She taught me all about fashion and business. I can’t thank her enough.

  • Both my brothers had learning disabilities so they had workers come to help with the homework and also take them out. They had many good workers over the year but one stands out to me — not only did she work with my brother and take him out. She would often take me out as well so I would not feel left out. I will never forget that.

  • Yes, I have mentors in many areas of my life! We are lucky to have a Reiki master in our lives, who teaches me so much about energy, mindfulness and intention. Super blessed. Always pay attention to the people who come to you – we all have lessons to learn and to teach.

  • My parents were the only mentors I had but two of my daughters were big sisters and enjoyed being mentors.

  • My mentors have always been my parents! They have great advice and I know I can trust them because they always wants what is best for me.

  • I have been lucky enough to have a few mentors over various careers that made all the difference to me. I always take the opportunity to pay it back by helping others in their careers .

  • Mentorship is very valuable for everyone. A mentor will help you work through your situation and help you make the right decisions for you.

  • I think it is so important to have a mentor in your life. My mentor in life would of been my father in law. When I was having difficult times it was nice to have a say with him and listen to the feedback, he provided me good guidance. I also volunteer with Girl Guides of Canada and I really love helping the girls learning life lessons and seeing them achieve their goals.

  • I think mentorship is important because it helps you to often go outside of your comfort zone and try things you might otherwise not. It helps you to reach your goals.

  • I had a wonderful mentor, Dorothy. She was someone whose values and opinions I trusted completely and a brick for me. Now, almost 30 years later I consider her one of my best friends.

  • I’ve had a mentor at work, she taught me so many things and helped me navigate the corporate world. It was an amazing experience!

  • I personally didn’t have a mentor in my life but I do believe mentorship is important to guide our yoith and inspired them to be all that they can be

  • My boss a lady in her early 70’s – who has shown me compassion and understanding with her work ethic, dependability and old school values. Very flexible and human when it comes to families and their respective lives. She has renewed my spirit by her character. Blessed to call her boss and friend. Oh, by the way to silently honor her – Thanks Paula S.

  • It is important to help someone in need, or someone who could benefit, from having and following a mentor to either teach or guide that individual along the correct path

  • I had an adult student as a friend in university who introduced me to classical and folk music, something I’ve kept a love of every since and adding jazz and blues to the mixture.

  • I have had a mentor in my job when I was first starting out. She was very helpful in answering any questions that I had! I still think about the advice she gave me 🙂