To the sponsors and donors of the Peer Mediation Invitational,
Thank you for making the 2019 Peer Mediation Invitational possible!
Samuel Gompers Middle School, was honored to be apart of this years Peer Mediation Invitational hosted by the Western Justice Center (WJC). As we continue to rewrite our school narrative and create a learning environment that is not only academically rigorous but welcoming, student centered and restorative, it was refreshing to know your organization is a resource that will help us attain this very goal. We are committed to having our school and outside community thrive and strongly believe providing student voice and leadership through peer mediation is a key component to accomplishing this task.
This past week, hand selected students who have previously been a part of restorative justice circles and showed interest in conflict-resolution strategies, were given an opportunity to demonstrate their abilities as peer mediators. Our students received remarkable feedback regarding their communication style, natural leadership capability and were acknowledge for their contribution to our campus, surrounding community and the world. As advisors, we were moved by the pride students saw in themselves and the confidence they developed, based off the training they acquired.
After leaving the invitational, students spoke excitedly about their experience with peers who were unable to attend. These conversations sparked interest in other students who were unclear of what peer mediation is, along with its benefits. During these exchanges, our advisors witnessed a new spark and excitement within our peer mediators. The mock mediations conducted at the invitational equipped our students with the belief and experience that they can effectively share their knowledge with peers and further develop the peer mediation program we have recently instituted.
This experience was not only beneficial to our students, but to our advisors as well. In this setting, we were allowed to meet with other educators from other schools and discuss a variety of strategies we could use in our implementation of peer mediation at our school site. It was reassuring to hear that support and resources were available to us beyond this invitational. As new advisors, we sometimes fall into the trap of wanting to be 100% perfect all of the time, but unfortunately this is not possible. It was relieving to hear we didn’t have to have all answers and to be reassured we were doing a good job and developing a promising program for our school.
Redefining our narrative at Samuel Gompers Middle School will take continual work, however as a school community and with support of our administration team and principal Blanca Esquivel, we continue to work hard “against all odds”. We believe our experience with the (WJC) is a crucial step in helping us evolve. Our students have suffered a lot of trauma in their everyday lives and it has over-flowed into their academics and interactions with others. However, with peer mediation, students now have an opportunity to channel and express their feelings in a positive way.
Thank you for making this incredible program available to us, we look forward to seeing you next year!
Sincerely Peer Mediation Advisors,
Ashley Jordan, Taza Pack and Malikah Nu-Man