Utilizing the FRIENDS FIRST STARS curriculum (Students Teaching About Relationships and Success), Just Say YES Peer-to-Peer Mentoring Programs are student-led, in which high school upperclassmen/women mentor freshmen. The mentors are equipped with leadership skills through weekly meetings with their Just Say YES Mentor Coordinators, who serve as adult trainers and facilitators. The Mentor Coordinator and student mentors meet weekly with freshmen mentees to build supportive relationships, do community service projects and focus on skills necessary for setting positive futures in motion.
The Just Say YES Peer-to-Peer Mentoring program values the importance of providing social-emotional learning opportunities to students that will positively impact their attitude, academics and behavior. Some of the important topics both mentors and mentees learn throughout the duration of the program include: goal setting; self-control; healthy relationships; positive communication; determination; college and career opportunities; bullying prevention; refusal skills; healthy boundaries, and most importantly, the power of a mentor.
Students also have the opportunity to experience various teambuilding workshops during the year, including the annual MentorLife Retreat and the FRIENDS FIRST STARS National Conference held every summer in Colorado.
School administrators have witnessed immense growth in the students who participate in the Just Say YES mentoring program. Because of its impact, administrators have chosen to implement it during the school day as a class period, as opposed to it being a before/after school program. They are also financially investing in this program by allocating funds out of their annual budgets.
Currently, the Just Say YES Peer-to-Peer Mentoring program is only available for middle and high schools located in the Dallas-Fort Worth area.
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