Becoming a Class of Leaders

Becoming a Class of Leaders

The Peer Mentoring class recently returned from their annual retreat to begin the school year, ready with a host of leadership skills to support the rest of the students at Northwest.

The Peer Mentoring Class offers students the opportunity to develop their skills and knowledge base around issues that can affect teenagers. The Peer Mentors serve as informed, thoughtful, and sensitive resources for students at NWS and are asked to take on a mentoring role, especially amongst their peers and younger students.

"This retreat lays the groundwork for much of the class," says NWS counselor and Peer Mentoring teacher Megan Reibel. "The students practice being vulnerable, and what it means to really listen to someone, so they can learn how to properly support their fellow classmates."

The juniors and seniors that make up the Peer Mentoring class have one day and learn some of the mentoring skills before the 8th grade arrives at Camp Burton, in Vashon Island, for its annual fall class trip. The Peer Mentors then lead activities with the 8th graders to begin the process of building an intentional and safe community.

"The mentors have this experience where they are the participants and we [Megan and fellow counselor Erin North] are the facilitators," says Megan. "Then the very next day they are the facilitators, and are putting that knowledge immediately to use."

The Peer Mentors also partner with the Student Residential Advisors (SRA) from the dorm for the first day of the retreat, where the two groups work towards common goals. As Megan explains, the SRAs are international students nominated to act as advocates for dormitory students, much in the same way the Peer Mentors act for the entire school.