Peer mentoring training a hit

October 23, 2012 Francesca Roznicki, SACSC Communications Officer
Rebecca Edwards Rabiey, a youth education support worker from Grimshaw Junior Senior High School, introduces herself and her school to facilitators and students.

Students and facilitators make a difference

The auditorium at Barnett House buzzed with excitement on October 12 as more than 145 students and facilitators from across Alberta participated in a peer mentoring training conference.

When Bev Dekker, Peer Mentoring Project manager with the Society for Safe and Caring Schools & Communities (SACSC), put out a call last spring inviting schools to attend the Peer Mentoring Project (funded by Alberta Health Services—Children’s Mental Health), she had no idea she’d hear from so many schools. But Dekker couldn’t be happier with the result. “The project began with 4 schools, so to expand to 14 went far beyond our expectations. Who better to act as role models and make a difference to youth than their peers?”

During the one-day training conference, students attended workshops and presentations delivered by SACSC and the Alberta Mentoring Partnership.

Rebecca Edwards Rabiey, a youth education support worker from Grimshaw Junior Senior High School, had many good reasons to participate in the peer mentoring program. “I was helping to facilitate another student group, and the students expressed interest in this type of program. There is a demand for students to connect with others and it requires more than one person,” she said.

“There are so many great benefits being a mentor. Feeling purposeful, feeling accountable to another person and also knowing the powerful impact you can have on another’s life is pretty amazing,” Rabiey said. “The greatest benefit for the mentee is feeling like someone is looking out for you, like someone cares.”


PHOTOS SUPPLIED BY SACS

Students interact with one another at the Peer Mentoring Training Conference, held October 12, at Barnett House

Rabiey praised the peer mentoring program, saying: “It’s such a well-structured, holistic program. It looks at relationships and how to create positive ones. I am so grateful this program exists. I highly support it.”

The training kicks off another year of the mentoring program, and with all 14 schools actively involved, it’s going to be a busy year.

For more information about peer mentoring, download the booklet Peer Mentoring: A Guide for Teachers at www.sacsc.ca/Resources_School.htm#booklets. To order the booklet contact SACSC at 780-822-1500.

You can find out more about the Alberta Mentoring Partnership at www.albertamentors.ca and more about SACSC projects and programs at www.sacsc.ca.


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