An open letter to parents and guardians on peer to peer based Mentoring

As a dad to a 13-year-old eighth-grader and a 10-year-old fifth grader, I want to address some of the questions and concerns that you may have about allowing your child to participate in a program, such as peer-to-peer mentoring, which utilizes the peer relationship to speak to topics such as sexual abstinence and other high-risk behavior avoidance.

One of the most common concerns that we hear parents raise, goes to the effect of, “The idea of another student talking to my child about sex, drug use, and/or _______ (fill in the blank) concerns me.” That is a very understandable concern from parents, one that I personally identify with as a dad, with all the misinformation there is out there amongst our teen culture today on these high risk and potentially permanently life altering topics. As a matter of fact, the misinformation is one of the reasons that we have created the B.E.L.I.E.V.E. curriculum with peer-to-peer based mentoring as the vehicle through which these topics are communicated.

The format of having an older student who has been (1) affirmed by the school administration and has (2) committed to the six-pillars of character and the (3) expectations we place on them (4) coupled with the training provided, to lead discussions in the safe format of a peer relationship, is one that has shown to have a tremendous effect on students and schools, as a whole, who have adopted the peer-to-peer model. Mentors undergo regular training provided with supportive resources so that they can serve their underclassmen mentees in an accurate and relevant way. The training includes scripted content in question and answer format to lead the groups discussion time.

The mission of Life that Counts is to help students make better decisions for healthy, long-term outcomes. That same objective holds true for our peer mentoring program.

Let’s change lives, together!


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