NEW: Mardi Daley on Youth Mental Health During COVID-19

Mardi Daley - Talkie 1 of 6: High School

Mardi Daley - Talkie 2 of 6: Journey to University

Mardi Daley - Talkie 3 of 6: Exploring Possibilities

Mardi Daley - Talkie 4 of 6: Evolving Ambition

Mardi Daley - Talkie 5 of 6: Time

Mardi Daley - Talkie 6 of 6: Future Journey

Mardi Daley - Follow-Up Interview: Life After Graduation

Mardi developed an interest in art at an early age and began taking classes when she was 9. Now Mardi's studying Art History and Political Science at the University of Toronto. She will pursue the Masters in Art Business program at the prestigious Sotheby’s Institute of Art after graduation.

Mardi Daley on Youth Mental Health During COVID-19

In this video, Mardi Daley shares her insights about the impact of COVID-19 and social isolation on youth mental health.

We encourage everyone to check in with the support groups and resources available in your neighbourhood. Take care of yourself and stay safe.

Click here for more on Mardi’s Road to Possible

Follow-Up Interview: Life After Graduation

We’ll announce our next Follow-Up Interview on Thursday, March 22. In the meantime, hope you enjoy our Follow-Up with Mardi Daley!

Click here for more on Mardi’s Road to Possible!

Changemaker Profile: Mardi Daley

Originally posted on Eva’s Initiatives blog:

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Mardi Daley first came across LOFT Community Services, a Toronto-based organization that supports youth, adults and seniors, as she sought services herself. She soon became a Peer Support Worker to provide care and mentorship to youth dealing with housing, mental health, and substance use matters. “I wouldn’t have had this opportunity if they had given up on me” she says, “and now I feel confident that I can be a changemaker in my community.”

Mardi deeply understands what many young people go through. She herself experienced barriers of low income and had to live in emergency shelter a few times throughout her youth. She also experienced the life-changing effects of getting the right help at the right time. “I got a Big Sister when I was 7,” she explains, “and without her as a positive role model, I’m not sure what would have happened to me.” Later, Mardi was able to use extracurricular programs to enable and motivate her to go to university and put her in a position to give back. “I knew that, should I want to step into a mentorship role, I would have to commit 110% of my energy towards others,” she says. “This part is really crucial because vulnerable people, youth especially, want to feel a sense of community belonging and empathy.”

Mardi’s peer-to-peer youth work is critical to LOFT’s youth-friendly approach. “One of the most important parts of peer work is being a consistent face for other youth to see in the space,” she says. In many other ways, Mardi also acts as a youth voice for the organization. Her most recent project is the beginning of a survival guide for youth that addresses topics like life skills, housing strategies, and healthy living. She also attended the Canadian Alliance to End Homelessness’ national conference to speak to the importance of peer approaches to working with youth experiencing homelessness.

Mardi attributes the success of her peer work to the power of shared experience. “We understand what it feels like to be stigmatized, the feeling of vulnerability involved in asking for help and importantly, the rollercoaster of recovery,” she says. Knowing that someone has been in the same situation can help a young person believe that their own story will be met with empathy. Mardi stresses how peer approaches can go hand-in-hand with other kinds of support and service for youth.

“I hope that, with an increase of the visibility of peers in the field, others will feel less afraid of being stigmatized should they decide this is a path they want to pursue,” says Mardi. She speaks to how organizations must truly value and support those they hire to do peer-based programming. “Peers take a huge risk by vocalizing their lived experiences,” she says. There’s no doubt in Mardi’s mind that, when done right, the rise of peer approaches to youth services can help transform the world. “If we can take care of our children and youth,” she says, “then we will ultimately have more independent, productive and happy adults.”[/expand]

Video Talkie 6: Mardi on her Future Journey

Click here for more on Mardi’s Road to Possible!

Our next series of Talkies will be announced Monday, August 15.

Video Talkie 5: Mardi on Time

Video Talkie 6 with Mardi Daley coming next Monday!

Click here for more on Mardi’s Road to Possible!

Video Talkie 4: Mardi on her Evolving Ambition

Video Talkie 5 with Mardi Daley coming next Monday!

Click here for more on Mardi’s Road to Possible!

Video Talkie 3: Mardi on Exploring Possibilities

Video Talkie 4 with Mardi Daley coming next Monday!

Click here for more on Mardi’s Road to Possible!

Video Talkie 2: Mardi on her Journey to University

Video Talkie 3 with Mardi Daley coming next Monday!

Click here for more on Mardi’s Road to Possible!

Video Talkie 1: Mardi on her High School Years 

Video Talkie 2 with Mardi Daley coming next Monday!

Click here for more on Mardi’s Road to Possible!

Upcoming Talkies with Mardi Daley

Every Monday we’ll share a new video from our 6-part interview series with Peer Worker and U of T student Mardi Daley! Stay linked for the 1st installment next Monday, July 4.

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Mardi Daley

We’re proud to be profiling Mardi Daley, Art History/Political Science student at the University of Toronto and Peer Mentor. Stay linked as her RtP accelerates!


Voting – by Mardi Daley

For my first time voting, I opted for the advanced polls knowing it would not be possible for me to be a responsible citizen today. Please go out there and exercise your democratic right! There are so many options to vote that the only reason for abstaining should be that you are legally not allowed. Tonight will be a game changer.

BLOG Voting by Mardi

Youth Advocacy – by Mardi Daley

BLOG Youth Advocacy

As some of you know (and most of you do not), the last few years have been one of the longest struggles of my life between school, home and my personal relationships. Amidst all of this, I have had an amazing support system of trusted adults and close friends who have helped me keep my head up and stay focused on my future. 

Within the past few months and weeks, I’ve had the opportunity to explore not only my gifts and strengths, but also my ability to inspire others.

I’ve learned so much and I feel like the universe is shoving me in the direction of youth advocacy.

Right now I am participating as a peer mentor in multiple capacities between LOFT and the YMCA, including a large research project targeted at youth homelessness in Ontario.

If you know anyone who may benefit from mental health and housing support, shoot me a message!

Otherwise, I just wanted to express my gratitude to everyone 🙂