New Peer Helpers selected at AHS

Published 10:33 pm Friday, November 6, 2020

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A new group of Peer Helpers was selected at Andalusia High School.

“Studies show that youth seek a peer first when they are struggling and wanting help,” Peer Helper sponsor Charlotte Spurlin said. “Peer Helpers are a diverse group of students who go through a selection process and are formally trained by adult leadership on their campus.”

Spurlin said these trained Peer Helper students gain leadership and counseling skills which guide them as they help their friends and fellow peers overcome or cope with bullying, abuse, substance use, suicide, grief, divorce, body image and more.

“Peer Helpers choose a subject of concentration each month,” Spurlin said. “This month is No Nic November. Peer Helpers will be going into classes to deliver short presentations on the dangers of tobacco use, including electronic nicotine delivery systems (vapes). As members of the Youth Coalition in conjunction with Drug-Free Andalusia Coalition, Peer Helpers designed the theme and the billboard on display this month next to Splash Hopper.”

Schools Pre-K through 12th grade are required to address the societal, behavioral, emotional and educational challenges of today’s youth. With family dynamics, drug options, and social influences continuously changing, providing dated curriculum and tools on paper would not be adequate; therefore, the Peer Helper Program is accompanied by a user-friendly, cloud-based software tool. This tool, the Peer Helper Portal, houses the curriculum and activity logs from the Peer Helpers. This allows ThriveWay, the company which trains and supports Peer Helper Programs, to ensure the curriculum is current with the trending needs in our community.

About the Peer Helper Program: Peer Helpers brings together specially trained students who use core skills to assist fellow students with the emotional, societal, behavioral and educational challenges we all face in day-to-day life. Peer Helpers serve as tutors, mentors, mediators and advocates for their peers. Peer Helper Program Coordinators are teachers or counselors at their schools and are specially trained to teach the Peer Helper curriculum.

Andalusia High is currently in its 13th year of having a Peer Helpers program.

Peer Helpers for the 2020-21 school year are:

Ayden Amis, Chelsea Baldwin, Rosemary Bass, Caleb Blackston, Soniyah Chambers, Mei Chen, Savannah Cotton, Jack Day, Kate Day, Ingram Dugger, Adeline Fischer, Arabella Griggs, Nadia Grissett, Gracie Grissom, Chase Harper, Trevor Hayes, Sophia Jones, Ashland Kelley, Savannah Kelley, Jiyoon Kim, Abigail Lee, Brie Lesley, John Logan Long, Amanda Majors, Brooke Mancil, Anna Martin, Gracyn Martin, Ian Martin, Kaitlyn Martin, Anna McKinney, Bay Merrell, Olivia Mikel, Emmy Mixson, Ella Kate Nichols, Addie O’Rourke, Connor O’Rourke, James Posey, Caroline Reeves, Ivy Rogers, Ada Short, Brynne Spurlin, Marion Starnes, Brayden Stewart, Kyleigh Swords, Cooper Taylor, Emma Taylor, Madison Thompson.