March 11, 2016
By Astrid Onesto, Carina Carrera-Flores, and Piedad Carrera
The Peer Mediation Program was started sixteen years ago by John Cornet, a Phoenix High School teacher. The program is designed to help students at our school who are involved in any type of disagreement to come to a peaceful resolution on their own accords. Some of the many topics that the club helps with include gossip/rumors, depression, bullying/harassment, and friendship/relationship issues. The program also helps in crisis intervention, which is when there is a time sensitive crisis affecting the school, region, or nation, and they use mediators in significant, meaningful ways. They also educate younger students how to be good mediators. The mission of this program is to help our school become a safer, more culturally sensitive and effective institution.
The Peer Mediation Program has many types of training opportunities. Some of these opportunities include psychological prompts for conflict, suicide intervention, grief and loss seminar, and athletic teams disputes workshop. However, these are just some of the many training sessions this program has to offer. There is also the possibility of receiving honors and recognition if you are a part of this program. Nine students have been nominated for the Young Peacemakers Imagine Award for Community Peacemaking; five of them won and the other two were named as finalists (these are not the only awards). It’s also something that would look great on your resume.
“I would recommend students to join the program, it looks great on college applications,” said Yasmin Conchas, a member of Peer Mediation. Anyone is able to join and no experience is necessary. Don’t think you aren’t welcome if you’ve been a disputant in the past, they’ll still welcome you in. All you have to do is start going to the skill training sessions. There is a calendar outside of Mr. Cornet’s room of all the training topics and when they’ll be offered. You can also talk to Mr. Cornet about it. Skill trainings are throughout the year, but are mostly in the months of September, October, January and February. Phoenix High School is very lucky to have the opportunity to offer this program to its students. If you ever need help from the Peer Mediation program all you need to do is contact Mr. Cornet.