Group Effort
Reader's Digest Canada|June 2021
A mentorship program that helps vulnerable youth succeed
Raizel Robin

MUSTAFA EL AMIN knows about overcoming barriers—and how finding a good mentor can help. At age six, he fled Sudan as a refugee with his parents and four siblings. His family settled in London, Ont., in 1992. They struggled to make ends meet and his parents’ marriage crumbled. El Amin’s father returned to Sudan in 1996, and his mother did the same two years later. El Amin, then 14 years old, was left to fend for himself.

He bounced between an older brother’s house and friends’ homes, but nothing seemed to work out. He often ate at a local shelter. When he saw other kids making money selling drugs—sometimes clearing $20,000 a month—he decided to try it himself. In 2000, he was arrested and sentenced to a year in juvenile detention.

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