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Peer Group Connection Mentors Develop Skills to Mentor Younger Students
Over two nights and three days, two large groups of seniors of the newly formed Peer Group Connection Mentors attended a retreat that not only gave participants the strategies and skills needed in order to be successful and impactful role models, but also provided time where students bonded and formed strong and lasting relationships. The groups of seniors are developing skills to become mentors for 9th grade students to assist them with transitioning to our NFA campuses.
Through this retreat, the Peer Group Connection mentors face obstacles and moments they had to overcome as well as faced the challenge of breaking barriers to find out not only who they are, but who their team members are. This retreat helped to shape and mold these students into mentors as they prepare to work with their freshman mentees.
Mrs. Lindsay Caldara and Ms. Kim Hovey from Newburgh Free Academy, Main Campus and Mr. Philip Castiglione and Ms. Lauren Loalbo from Newburgh Free Academy, North Campus, in coordination with Mr. Christopher Bayer, Assistant Superintendent of Exceptional Learners and Ms. Janet Orwick, Director of Exceptional Learners advise the groups of mentors at the two high school campuses.
Advisors of the group went through a one-day training in Manhattan where they were introduced to the PGC model and then visited Princeton University where they experienced an extensive four-day retreat.
During that time, advisors were given tools, resources, experiences, situations, moments, and opportunities to become facilitators for the Peer Group Connection program at Newburgh Free Academy. Advisors learned alongside a group of 60 adults who were broken down into 10-12 intimate groups, where they received an even more extensive training of what the program would look like when they went back and introduced it to our high school seniors/mentors. Advisors learned what it means to become impactful and even became more empathetic teachers as a result of their participation in the training.
The overall goal is for our high school senior mentors to not to only impact and be a mentor to the freshman, but to work towards changing our community as a whole.