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Program Information
 outFarpress presents 
 
 Regular Show
 Youth Radio, Mendocino California, High School, preparation for high school, peer counseling
 Dan Roberts  
 Contact producer for permission to broadcast.
 Attribution No Derivatives (by-nd) 
 No Advisories - program content screened and verified.
Mendocino county high school students discuss the Peer Summit being held for Willits middle school students. Willits high school students have developed lesson plans to prepare the younger students for the hidden curriculum of High School- relationships, substances, self-esteem, and body image. The former Sister-to-Sister Summit now includes young men. This will be a call-in show.
Today our topic is the Peer Summit to be held this month at Willits High School for 8th grade students from Baechtel Grove, the middle school in Willits. For the past 10 years there has been an event called Sister-to-Sister for the girls about to enter high school. YouthSpeaksOut! was hosted by participants in 2012 and 2013. This year the event has been expanded to include young men.
The Peer Summit will be a day-long event promoting self-esteem, healthy decision making, and empowerment for the incoming freshman. It will be facilitated by trained high school mentors who will provide positive suggestions and awareness about the high school experience. Using group activities and small discussion groups, we will cover topics such as self-esteem, body image, peer relationships, substance abuse, bullying, and healthy coping skills.
Since the beginning of this school year, the high school mentors have attended monthly meetings in which they develop facilitation techniques, build knowledge on their topics, and lesson plan the events of the day. Some of the high school participants decided to become a mentor after their affirming experience with the Summit as an 8th grader. This years Summit will be held on May 21st, on the Willits High School Campus.
The transition from middle school to high school is often exciting, profound, and confusing. In many cultures and religions this passage is celebrated with a ritual or initiation, like confirmation, bar mitzvah or a vision quest. This is the time when the child becomes a young adult. The Peer Summit creates an opportunity for 8th graders to establish friends at the high school, who will be there the next year as advisors and mentors.
The American Association of University Women came up with a program in the 1990s to help prepare young women moving from middle schools to high schools. They named it Sister-to-Sister. Research had shown that high school girls could help inform and empower eighth grade girls, before they entered high school. A program was created in which each girl learns about her own individual personality, as well as developing skills for interacting with and interpreting the people and the world around her. The goal is to help girls make healthy life choices for their minds and bodies, and develop leadership skills. By the end of the program, girls often have a new vision of what is possible for themselves.
In the past a number of people expressed the idea that the young men entering high school could benefit from a similar program. The Summit will begin with an orientation with everyone, then split into different areas for the boys and girls. The girls activities will be mentored by female Peer Counselors, and the boys will be mentored by male Peer Counselors.
There is an abundance of rumors in the eighth grade about life in high school. There are stories about parties, dating, and being respected as a young adult. In our small communities, most students move with the same peers to high school. After spending a year being the leaders of the middle school, the shift to being lowly freshmen is usually a shock. The students are on the lowest rung in a new school, surrounded by older people they don't know, and being pressured to do things they're often unprepared to deal with.
Teenage girls are flooded with images of how they are supposed to look. This frequently leads to eating disorders and poor diets. There is a powerful urge to mature as quickly as possible which can result in early sexual experimentation and a rush to be in a relationship. Girls often experience sexual harassment but do not have the language or skills to stop it.
Teenage boys are expected to be tough, to man up, and to not express emotions unless they are macho. There is an urge to prove fearlessness and daring, which can lead to injury or other problems. The use of alcohol and other drugs is frequently taken as a sign of being grown up. And freshman at high school are frequently bullied.
Bullying, either by exclusion or public humiliation, is common among teenagers, male and female. And in this youth culture which emphasizes texting and social media, cyberbullying has become prevalent and very damaging to more than a few young people.
8th graders hear many rumors about life in high school. There are tales about relationships, sexual activity, and drug use. It is possible to get the impression that most high school students are in relationships, are sexually active, and use alcohol and other substances. Some eighth graders are excited by these stories, and some are frightened. Many expect that sex and drugs will be the norm- even though research shows that this is a false impression, as we covered in a prior program on social norms.
The middle school years are challenging and emotional, filled with drama and changing friends. Many teenagers feel the need to talk to someone, but are too scared of being judged or treated differently if they confide in their peers or teachers. At the Peer Summit, they can talk and share their stories with other youth without the fears of being criticized or being made fun of. At the beginning of school in the Fall, there is a reunion held so that the new freshmen can touch base with the high school friends they made at the Summit. This provides a connection to an older friend, which most freshmen are grateful to have.
So we will talk about the Peer Summit program for about 30 minutes, then we will open the phone lines for your ideas, experiences, and insights. We are in the Willits studio and our phone number will be 707 456-9991. Let s begin by discussing our plans for the Peer Summit. Let s talk about our experiences when we were in the eighth grade.
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We re going to open the phone lines now. The phone number is 707 456-9991. Everyone is welcome to call, and we d especially like to encourage the youth in the listening audience. Please call in if you have questions or insights about the Peer Summit program, or about the passage of teenagers into young adults.
What are the challenges you see for youth in our society?
How is growing up different for girls and boys?
What do you remember about moving from middle school to high school?
What shaped your outlook on life at that time?
Do you think that growing up is more difficult now than when you were in school? In what ways
What advice would you give to youth entering high school?
We would like to hear your opinions on all the topics we ve discussed.
Do you think that programs like Peer Summit should be encouraged?

 Broadcast Quality Download Program Podcast
128kb not vbr
01:00:00 English 2015-05-03
 Mendocino County, California
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YSOpeer0515_128  01:00:00  128Kbps mp3
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 Quick Download/ Slow-Modem Streaming Download Program Podcast
24KB vbr
01:00:00 English 2015-05-03
 Mendocino County, California
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