Resources for Peer Leaders
Peer leadership is one of the defining characteristics within the Sources of Strength model for the secondary program.
For too long, adults have attempted to do the work of prevention for young people. While many adults care and may want to affect change, adults often lack the insight and influence that young people have. Adults do not shift teen culture, teenagers do. Social Network Theory informs us that peer opinion leaders can shift population level health norms. We need to see and empower our Peer Leaders as agents of social change, not as junior psychologists. With the Sources of Strength program, adults and young people work together!
Typical Peer Leaders are key leaders in the school from a wide variety of cliques and social groups. They may be peer helpers, mentors, student council members, gang leaders, SADD members and others. They bring to the program a mixture of backgrounds and attitudes. Experience suggests that 6-10% of the student population should be trained in order for Sources of Strength messages to saturate the school.