In adolescence, a peer group’s influence is as strong, if not stronger than a parent’s. The Council’s high school programs seek to harness peer-pressure and provide teens with up-to-date information about alcohol and other drugs, coping and communication skills to resist using drugs and a positive peer group in which they receive support, learn to socialize, and have drug- and alcohol-free fun.
The Council helps at-risk students in local high schools to participate in a course for credit, be trained as a peer mentor, and fulfill a leadership role in a support group, via these programs:
Reconnecting Youth, an evidence-based curriculum, is designed to raise self-esteem, improve decision-making skills, improve personal control and develop interpersonal communication skills. Students also develop adaptive coping and relationship skills; discuss the dangers of experimenting with substance use; improve poor academics/attendance; and deal with suicidal ideation, anger and depression—all in an effort to reduce the risk of dropping out of school. Social activities are planned throughout the school year to establish positive social relationships and friendships, as well as practice the life skills learned in the classroom. The National Institute on Drug Abuse has named Reconnecting Youth one of the nation’s most effective drug-reduction programs.
Student 2 Student (S2S) Peer Mentor Program, teaches students accountability and leadership by assisting classmates in making positive decisions regarding alcohol and drug use. The overall goal is to prevent, delay and reduce substance use by increasing positive environmental factors in participating schools through strong positive peer group development. Participants attend peer support groups under the supervision of an adult and/or have one-on-one meetings with trained youth mentors.
The Peer Mentor Program objectives are to increase participants’ social competencies (resistance skills; planning and decision-making skills, interpersonal competence skills, cultural competence skills; and peaceful conflict resolution) by teaching them to:
- Increase positive identity (personal power; self-esteem; sense of purpose; and positive view of personal future),
- Prevent and reduce the use of alcohol, tobacco and other drugs,
- Increase their knowledge of community resources, and
- Develop leadership skills.
To get more information about these and other services for youth, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.