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:
The contract gives credibility to our message. By signing it, the students who present classroom sessions are not only talking about integrity-based living, but they have also given their word to model a lifestyle of integrity.
“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 Honor Council provides accountability for TAs who have broken their contract. In a loving environment, the individual talks through what happened, and the Honor Council members encourage the student with ideas for upholding their contract in the future.