Teen Advisors has developed a one-of-a-kind method for highly effective peer-mentoring known as "Classroom Sessions." A classroom session is an interactive, discussion-based presentation where older students speak to the underclassmen at their schools about the difficult issues that students deal with on a regular basis. The upperclassmen lead the younger students in activities that teach about having a lifestyle of integrity, and they share from personal experience on how they have dealt with these various issues. Some of the topics covered include:
What makes this method so successful?
Through classroom sessions, Teen Advisors actually leverage the powerful force of peer pressure in a positive way. The underclassmen have role models right in their own schools confirming for them that not everyone is having sex outside of marriage; that not everyone is getting drunk every weekend; that you CAN face and overcome issues like stress and low self-worth in middle & high school!
For instance, let's consider the issue of being drug-free: by the time a typical student reaches the 9th grade, he has heard a drug-free message dozens of times in a myriad of ways - TV commercials, motivational speakers, drug-free youth rallies, drug-free school curriculum, etc. He knows that drugs are bad for him!
What's different about the Teen Advisor method is that those speaking to him about being drug-free are his classmates at school, his friends, his teammates! Students who have made a pledge to be drug-free, and because he knows them and goes to school with them, this 9th grader sees daily how their lives back up their word.
Every student involved must sign a contract stating that they commit to:
Our teens are taught to take this commitment seriously, but also given a support system to help them be successful! The contract gives credibility to their message to their peers. By signing it, the students who present classroom sessions are not only talking about integrity-based living, but they have also being leaders and role models in their schools.
"The contract helps me keep my values, because the real you comes out when no one else is looking." Micah C., 10th grader
What happens if I break my contract?
If someone breaks their contract, they go before a small group of TAs who have been elected by their fellow TAs to that position. The Student Action Leadership Team (SALT) provides accountability for TAs who have broken their contract. In a loving environment, the individual talks through what happened, and the SALT members, along with Teen Advisor/Velocity staff encourage the student with ideas for upholding their contract in the future.