In 1979 at a local San Francisco high school, a student brought a hatchet to school and used it to attack a peer.
In the wake of the attack, adults at the school discovered that other students knew that something was going on between the two students and that something–a possible attack–was imminent.
It became abundantly clear to the adults: students, young people, are on the frontlines of their own lives. Given the tools, resources and training, they are the best first responders for one another.
After all, when a young person is angry, sad, or lost, who are they going to talk to?
What we have found, over the years, again and again, is this: a peer.
Founded in 1979 by Ira Sachnoff, Peer Resources was a sampling of projects at several San Francisco high schools, with a fiscal home at the San Francisco Education Fund. In 1984, the projects became the Peer Resources program. Over the years, Peer Resources has grown to encompass 33 school sites, including in-school and after-school program, moved coordinators from classified to certificated status, and served thousands of San Francisco youth. Currently, Peer Resources trains roughly 600 Peer Leaders in 15 San Francisco middle and high school schools who served 14,000 of their peers.
In January, 2013, Peer Resources chose independence from its long-time lead agency. We are now a fiscally sponsored project of Community Initiatives.