Earlier this week, Union High School launched a cross-age peer mentoring programme at the school to promote the learners’ physical, social and emotional well-being.
The programme has been set up between older and younger learners, with mentors being assigned to specific class groups so that the younger learners can benefit from the experience and knowledge of the older ones.
The programme also comes with the additional impact of providing leadership and development opportunities to the older or near-peer youth who serve in the mentoring role.
The support of parents and teachers is undoubtedly vital for the success of our learners. However, the impact that guidance and advice from people who are closer in age can have is often overlooked – in fact, peer mentoring has been shown to lead to improved attitude to school, attendance and behaviour. It can also help learners to build up a peer network within their school, causing more holistic benefits such as a sense of community and belonging.
“We hope the mentoring programme will provide the learners with a safe environment to raise concerns and ask questions which they might not feel confident talking about in front of an adult or in a classroom setting,” said Grade 12 mentor, Tracy Petitt.
“Our overall goal is to get as many kids as we can impacted by the experience. There are many opportunities for all the younger learners, yet at the same time, there are numerous stressors and challenges for them to handle. How they adapt to and deal with all these adjustments is key to how they fare health-wise and emotionally every day, as well in the future. We hope to help as many learners as possible deal with these stressors by offering our support.”
Seen here are our 35 Grade 11 and 12 learners who will be serving as mentors this year, facilitating positive change in all their mentees.
They are: Michaela Price, Joshua Calitz, Lathitha Ngcwangu, Liso Binqela, Jade Edwards, Mihlali Tyanase, Primrose Mutapati, Likhona Batala, Tracy Petitt, Max Wright, Catelyn Anthony, James Pringle, Kaydn Retief, Kyle-Luke du Preez, Buhlebethu Rolomane, Chloe Bosch, Siphesihle Goliath, Jodi Kenmuir, Matthew McNaughton, Melissa Swart, Matthew Basson, Lutho Ludwaba, Sisipho Arnols, Kelly-Page Scott, Ruzhe Hendricks, Asa Matross, Ayanda Nyama, James Potgieter, Soyama Mbetshu, Kathryn Odendaal, Avemahle Matushe, Elam Nockpaal, Hannah Watermeyer, Rogan Odendaal and Cole Mackenzie.