Peer Helpers are juniors and seniors at Marshall High School who volunteer their time to work with ‘students in need’ for 30 – 45 minutes a week.
What is the purpose?· To be a good friend and listener to a child referred by a teacher, social worker or parent.
· To spend one on one time with the child, working on social skills or other needs suggested by parents and staff.
Peer Helpers learn:
· Value of volunteering,
· Gain experience and leadership skills,
· Become better parents because of this opportunity and
· Learning the importance of setting goals, limits and following through on commitments.
How does one become a Peer Helper?
Any junior or senior at MHS can sign up to be a Peer Helper. They must have a sincere interest in helping others and be willing to sacrifice their time each week to work with a student. They must be in good standing. This means that they cannot be on probation, academically or for drugs or alcohol.
What training do they receive?
Students receive a 3-hour fall training. During this training they begin to understand the hardships of being a child in need. They learn:
· The importance of confidentiality,
· How and when to refer,
· The importance of follow through
· The importance of being a role model
· Improve and develop their leadership skills
· How drugs and alcohol can impact a family.
Additional training gives them information about depression, dealing with a death or divorce, how to build friendships, handle bullies and working with ESL students to name a few.
Who can get a Peer Helper?Anyone who feels his or her child or student would benefit from the experience of having a friend. Peer Helpers have worked with students who are dealing with death or divorce, students who are shy, being bullied or who are the bullies. They’ve also worked with ESL students, students who don’t have a friend or are struggling with organizational skills and much more.
Here are some comments from students in the program:
Ø My Peer Helper was great! She taught me to believe in myself. She taught me that it's ok to be my own person and that I am loved. I'll never forget her and I want to help a child like she did me.
Ø My Peer Helper was pretty cool. He played games with me and talk to me about what is important in life.
Ø 2002 “My Peer Helper still writes to me and she really cared about me and what was going on in my life”. (Her Peer Helper graduated in 1995).
Ø “The Grinch wouldn't have been so mean if he had had a Peer Helper when he was in school”.
Ø One student wrote to his Peer Helper saying: “Thanks for being there when no one else was”.
Do you have questions?
Call Marshall High School at 537-6920 Ext: 193
The Peer Helper program
is funded by:
Marshall High School,
Marshall Community Services and
United Way of Southwest MN.