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Peer Assistance: A Win-Win for Mt. Eden Students

Catherine Escoto
Peer Assistance students hard at work.

Peer Assistance is a program at Mt. Eden that helps students resolve conflicts with their peers. The program uses trained student mediators to help students come to a mutual understanding. Through Peer Assistance, students can gain communication and listening skills vital for building and sustaining close bonds with other students. 

Lynn Allan, Mt. Eden Peer Assistance teacher, said the program is a valuable resource for students. “It forces students to listen to each other and hear what the other person has to say,” she said.

Peer Assistance works in four parts. First, students in the Peer Assistance class learn about conflict resolution skills including communication, listening, and problem-solving. Second, Peer Assistance students mentor other students in the school, providing them with support and guidance. Third, Peer Assistance students give presentations to staff and students about conflict resolution and the Peer Assistance program. Lastly, Peer Assistance students mediate conflicts between other students at school. 

Peer Assistance mentors meet individually with each affected student to hear their side of the story before mediating a dispute. The students are then brought together to discuss the disagreement and try to come to a mutually acceptable conclusion. According to Allan, it is essential that kids provide their consent to participate in mediation before it begins.

Many peer mediators describe the program as rewarding. Senior Anne Carranceja, one mediator, finds satisfaction in “helping students like [her] that need help with their mental and emotional health.” Aside from emotional support, Carranceja also mentioned how the program has helped immigrant students in a period of transition. “I have this folder that contains [the names of] new Filipinos that just transferred to our school. I’m the one who guides them with all the adjustments they need,” she said. She described this part of Peer Assistance as her biggest success.

When asked to provide general advice for students, Carranceja said, “It’s okay to take a break from life and let yourself enjoy your own little world. Always remember there are people who believe in you. You are valued and loved.” Overall, Peer Assistance is a valuable program that can help Mt. Eden students thrive through cultivating communication, conflict resolution, and empathy. Carranceja urges students to participate in the program: “We’re still open to having new mentors and if you need help, not just for mental or emotional support, we’re open to having you too.” Interested students can talk to Lynn Allan or their counselor.

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About the Contributors
Isz Surita
Isz Surita, Staff Writer
Diego Urbina
Diego Urbina, Staff Writer
Elisandra Hampton
Elisandra Hampton, Copy Editor, Formatting Editor
My name is Elisandra Hampton and I am the Copy Editor and Formatting Editor of The Monarch Times for the 2023-24 school year. I joined The Monarch Times last year and I am dedicated to writing quality articles. I was born in Hayward, raised in Hayward, and plan to die in Hayward. My hobbies include drawing, reading, and spending hours on Instagram Reels. I hope I can continue creating informative content this year.  
Catherine Escoto
Catherine Escoto, Co-Editor
Hello! My name is Catherine Escoto and I am a Co-Editor for The Monarch Times for the 2023-24 school year. This is my first year in the class and I am thoroughly enjoying it. I was born and raised in Hayward, California. I love writing during my free time and working with young kids at my job. I can be contacted through my Instagram or my email. Please sit back and enjoy my articles!
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