After parents, peers have the greatest influence on teens’ lives. STARS partners high school students with younger at-risk teens. Mentors are provided the tools, the voice, and the opportunity to make a positive impact in the lives of their mentees each week. As a result, both mentors and mentees develop the character and skills they need to reach their goals in life. The STARS Peer-to-Peer Mentoring Program is unique because it uses that influence to encourage teens to make positive decisions and build character. It is a peer-driven effort, where teens encourage and guide each other through the building blocks of success. Teens who encourage one another to be kind to others, to set healthy goals for themselves and to work hard to attain them can be a catalyst for change throughout an entire school.
Through mutual encouragement and the weekly lesson prepared and delivered by the mentors, students learn about goal setting, self-control, healthy relationships, positive communication, determination, safe dating, refusal skills, healthy boundaries, and the benefits of sexual risk avoidance.
JSY has partnered with Friends First out of Colorado to begin implementing the STARS model in schools in the DFW Metroplex. The program has already met with success in the Garland ISD schools where it was launched in the fall of 2011.