Whether you’re a new student or an existing one, starting a new semester can often feel daunting and overwhelming; add on top of that a global pandemic. No need to worry though! Paradise Valley Community College is kicking off a new Peer Leader Outreach Program aimed at supporting students in their specific Field of Interest (FOI). PVCC’s Counseling Department currently has peer mentors on hand to assist students with various questions in the classroom itself, however, peer leaders will serve in a more specific role, helping students navigate within their chosen FOI and build a community within their major.
“Originally, we looked at assigning one peer leader per FOI, but the program, just in its development stage has flourished so that we now can have multiple peer leaders within each FOI to be there for our students,” said Isaac Torres, Peer Leader Program Coordinator. “Our peer leaders are either graduates of PVCC or further along in their studies, so they can be a great resource to students less familiar with how things work at PVCC.”
“Our goal is to create a buddy system,” said Jerome Abou Jaoude, who will serve alongside BethAnne Countrymen, as the two primary peer leaders overseeing the others. “We just want to be a friend on campus, who knows a decent amount about the campus and its inner workings, so that we can be of value to other students. We have had similar experiences navigating PVCC and want to share what we’ve learned. We know who to contact to build a bridge to administration, which can help take a little of the anxiety or worry away from students.”
Jaoude and Countrymen, along with the other peer leaders, will be contacting students in an effort to make peer resources more of a common experience at PVCC. “We hope to make peer leaders more of the rule than the exception,” Jaoude said.
For more information, contact Isaac Torres at firstname.lastname@example.org.