Peer Resources empowers youth to engage with one another and school, to create positive school climate, and to change the system so there is justice for all their peers. This includes our middle and high school programming, training 700 youth leaders to serve 16,000 peers, and Youth Council, our city-wide youth leadership body.
The California Healthy Kids Survey found that 1 in 10 San Francisco Unified School District 9th graders believe there are no opportunities for meaningful participation at school, that 4 in 10 report being sexually harassed at school, and that 1 in 3 students report having rumors or lies spread about them. Schools also face systemic issues: African American and Latino students make up 3 in 10 students in San Francisco public schools, and at the same time represent 7 out of every 10 suspensions in the school district; SFUSD is both the highest performing urban school district in California and also the urban school district with the largest achievement gap–that is, the gap in test scores between white and Asian students and African American and Latino students.
To change the daily barriers students face, and to fundamentally transform the institutional barriers students of color in particular face, Peer Resources trains and empowers young people to be the change itself.
Who: Coordinators, Students, and Schools
Peer Resources partners with public middle and high schools to implement our youth leadership and peer helping program. Peer Resources Coordinators are certificated teachers with special training who are hired by their schools. They teach the Peer Resources elective class to our student Peer Leaders, and also coordinate the services provided by the student Peer Leaders. Students are selected into the class through a mix of referral, application, and class scheduling. Peer Leaders represent the broad spectrum of San Francisco public school students.
The Peer Leaders program is provided at:
- Aptos Middle School
- Buena Vista Horace Mann K-8
- Everett Middle School
- Martin Luther King, Jr. Middle School
- Presidio Middle School
- Willie Brown Middle School
- Balboa High School
- Burton High School
- Galileo High School
- June Jordan School for Equity
- Lincoln High School
- Lowell High School
- Mission High School
- Thurgood Marshall High School
Comprehensive Training for Peer Leaders
Peer Leaders enroll in a year-long elective class where they learn and develop communication, problem-solving, and team-work skills.
Direct Service for Students
Peer Leaders provide their fellow students peer mentoring, peer tutoring, peer conflict mediation, and peer education services.
School Wide Change
Peer Leaders identify a disenfranchised population at the school, analyze the barriers for those peers, and implement transformative institutional change projects and services to help individual students and to make systemic school change to eliminate the barriers.
Peer Resources’ Youth Council are our youth leaders and voice whose participation and initiative drive the program as a whole forward. Comprised of two representatives per high school program, Youth Council meets weekly through the course of the year to learn about needs of youth across the city, organize and run Peer Resources’ annual Youth Are Resources Conference, disburse grant money to youth-led projects for just change, and to challenge and advise the Peer Resources management team on the future of the program.