Peer Resources empowers youth to engage with one another and school, to create positive school climate, and to change the system so there is justice for all their peers.
The California Healthy Kids Survey in 2005-6 found that 1 in 10 San Francisco Unified School District 9th graders believe there are no opportunities for meaningful participation at school, that 4 in 10 9th grader report being sexually harassed at school, and that 1 in 3 students report having rumors or lies spread about them. Schools also face systemic issues: African American and Latino students make up 3 in 10 students in San Francisco public schools, and at the same time represent 7 out of every 10 suspensions in the school district; SFUSD is both the highest performing urban school district in California and also the urban school district with the largest achievement gap–that is, the gap in test scores between white and Asian students and African American and Latino students.
To change the daily barriers students face, and to fundamentally transform the institutional barriers students of color in particular face, Peer Resources trains and empowers young people to be the change itself.
Who: Coordinators, Students, and Schools
Peer Resources partners with public middle and high schools to implement our youth leadership and peer helping program. Peer Resources Coordinators are certificated teachers with special training who are hired by their schools. They teach the Peer Resources elective class to our student Peer Leaders, and also coordinate the services provided by the student Peer Leaders. Students are selected into the class through a mix of referral, application, and class scheduling. Peer Leaders represent the broad spectrum of San Francisco public school students.
In 2012-2013, the Peer Resources school-based program is provided at:
• Francisco Middle School
• James Denman Middle School
• James Lick Middle School
• Balboa High School
• Burton High School
• Galileo High School
• John O’Connell High School
• Lincoln High School
• Lowell High School
• Mission High School
• Thurgood Marshall High School
Comprehensive Training for Peer Leaders
Peer Leaders enroll in a year-long elective class where they learn and develop communication, problem-solving, and team-work skills.
Direct Service for Students
Peer Leaders provide their fellow students peer mentoring, peer tutoring, peer conflict mediation, and peer education services.
School Wide Change
Peer Leaders identify a disenfranchised population at the school, analyze the barriers for those peers, and implement action plans and services to help individual students and to make systemic school change to eliminate the barriers.