Striving for a more equitable and inclusive Iceland, one youth at a time

About our Activities

Group Mentorship

Each cohort will have access to a roster of established mentors who are knowledgeable about some element of Icelandic business or culture and willing to share their expertise with mentees.

These seasoned mentors share and provide support, practical advice, insight, and tools for succeeding in their respective fields. Mentors will give monthly craft talks.

Mentees will also have the unique opportunity to participate in workplace mentoring, through which mentees will shadow the mentor best equipped to assist them in exploring a career interest and shaping their future career path. 

Buddy Mentorship

Each mentee is paired with a peer for peer-to-peer “buddy” mentoring, which helps to combat the isolation that youth of foreign origin often experience in their own Icelandic peer groups. Buddy mentoring will build self-esteem and social networks.

In a University of Iceland research study, Susan Rafik Hama notes that “students drop out of school as a result of different factors, such as not valuing school and having poor relationships with teachers and peers and that immigrant teens in some ethnic groups suffer a higher dropout rate than the national average.” The Iceland Review also notes that children of foreign origin are less likely to participate in sports or recreational activities, further limiting their opportunities to build peer circles.

Peer mentoring will create safe spaces for mentees to grow their social circles and forge bonds with peers who have a deeper understanding of their experiences. 

Yofom Scholarship Fund

Youth of foreign origin in Iceland face barriers such as language acquisition, social isolation, low morale, discrimination, and much more. Those barriers often have a detrimental effect on earning ability. 

As a result, many of these young people may find it challenging to fund their studies. YOFOM awards scholarships to promising students who are youth of foreign origin and mentees. These scholarships will help alleviate the financial burden of higher education or trade school and open pathways to new opportunities and greater self-development.

Book Club

Each cohort will select and read a minimum of one book together during their tenure in the program. It will be a space for mentees to showcase their insights and hone their own voices.

With self-development as a driving factor, this book club will help sharpen participants’ presentation and discussion skills while inviting them to delve deeper into a particular topic or field of interest. We will discuss issues such as the labor market and paths to higher education. The book club is also an opportunity for deeper peer-to-peer bonding and connection. 

Institutional Visits

Minority access and visibility in physical spaces of prominence are equally as important as access to opportunities. The YOFOM mentorship program will create access to these spaces.

In a 2023 Iceland Review interview, Minister of Education and Children Ásmundur Einar Daðason noted that the representation of immigrants within Icelandic institutions is disproportionate to their population in Iceland, which is over 15%. “The challenge,” Ásmundur said, “is how do we help these children to reach the same level of success as the rest of us in Icelandic society? There should be 15 MPs of foreign origin, there should be 2-3 ministers of foreign origin. These people are not getting the same opportunities as the rest of us.” 

YOFOM wants youth of foreign origin to feel at home in boardrooms, museums, and political offices. 

To this end, YOFOM will organize a series of field trips to businesses and institutions to provide introductions to these important spaces and demystify the process of navigating places that are central to Iceland’s professional and political landscape.


Each year, YOFOM will honour an individual or organisation advancing the cause of people of foreign origin in Iceland or championing diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging efforts on a grand scale.

The YOFOM Award will highlight the accomplishments of bold, hard-working, innovative, and visionary people who are making Iceland a better, more inclusive place through their work.

Support a Transformative Mentorship Journey

Your investment will enable YOFOM to connect the maximum number of young people to life-changing mentorships and scholarships.

Dreams 42%

Uplift, Educate, Unite & Motivate

Embark on a transformative mentorship journey with a cohort of your peers, where you will discuss your goals, seek guidance, and work collaboratively to overcome challenges and achieve success.


YOFOM pairs mentees with a peer “buddy” mentor and professional mentors who will help them to navigate their future goals, while simultaneously expanding mentees’ social circles. Mentees will participate in monthly mentor talks, book club discussions, and other events aimed at giving mentees more access to opportunities.

YOFOM seeks applications from youth of foreign origin in Iceland who are between 15-20 years old. While it is not necessary for applicants to live in the Capital Region, mentees must be able to attend the monthly mentor talks and events held in-person at least three times a month in Reykjavík. 

Mentors will be evaluated based on their areas of expertise and what skills and knowledge they can share with mentees. YOFOM will review mentee applications and match them with mentors who can help them level up academically, professionally, and socially in Icelandic society. 

Mentees are expected to attend the monthly mentor talks and events which are held at least three times a month in Reykjavík. YOFOM seeks mentees who are fully committed to the program and dedicated to getting the most out of their mentorship experience. We encourage mentees to engage with their mentors and cultivate new connections. 

There will be designated in-person mentor talks and events each month, but mentees are encouraged to be in active communication with their mentors. Mentors will share their preferred means of communication and scheduling with mentees.

Mentors will come from diverse backgrounds and experience levels, so topics can vary from mentor to mentor. Mentees can seek guidance on career, academics, personal trajectory, networking, Icelandic culture and society, and many other areas.

Mentees will be assigned a peer mentor and group mentor. These two mentors will serve as the core of the YOFOM program. If mentees feel a connection to other mentors in the program, they are welcomed to connect with those mentors as well.