What is a Peer Leader?
A peer leader serves as a positive role model for other students. A peer leader is a student who is chosen to help and educate younger students on social issues by listening to their concerns, helping them to understand and communicate what they are feeling, providing accurate information when requested, and by helping students find appropriate help with problems that need more than sympathetic understanding. A peer leader offers direct support with everyday problems and leads other students to adult professionals in more serious situations.
What are the responsibilities?
Peer leaders receive training in listening and communication skills, and in techniques for coping with issues such as substance abuse, depression, separation, divorce, and family loss. They utilize these skills in one-to-one relationships with students and in presentations to larger groups. In both settings, they provide students with a method and a model for making decisions based on accurate information, positive values, and a clear sense of self-esteem. Peer leaders have an important job in the school and are expected to treat their position as a job with the same expectations of performance and evaluation.
Why Peer Leadership?
Peer leadership is based on the assumption that some educational and support services can most effectively be delivered by students who are experiencing the same demands and challenges as those who are seeking those services. We believe that many of our students are eager to help others. Making a commitment to serve as a Peer leader, although requiring hours of in-house training, provides the participants with a strong sense of self and a clear understanding they are making a positive difference in the lives of other students.