Peer Mentoring & Support Program

Empower Peer Mentors from diverse backgrounds to improve the well-being and mental health of their community 

Calm Clarity is currently collaborating with Rowan College at Burlington County and a group of student leaders at Drexel University and with Drexel University Active Minds to pilot a Peer Mentoring and Support Program to improve well-being and mental health among students who may feel a lower sense of belonging and/or a sense of marginalization on campus. Priority groups we serve include: first-generation college students, students from low-income communities, BIPOC students, and Dreamers. 

We are currently training college students from diverse backgrounds to serve as Peer Mentors who design and facilitate a Peer Support Group program that provides a safe space where students can give and receive support from their peers and build skills to manage stress and anxiety and improve their well-being and mental health. 

After the training, Peer Mentors have the option of working with a team of volunteer coaches to receive pro-bono one-on-one coaching to further develop their personal leadership strengths and facilitation skills.

In the future, we hope to offer the Peer Mentor Training and Peer Support Program to more colleges and universities, as well as high schools, youth development, workforce development, and community organizations.

Key Issues Facing First-Generation Low-Income (FGLI) College Students
in the Past, Present, & Future

Out of 100 Philadelphia high school students: 24 enroll in college; six out of ten, or 14 drop out of college, with debt, but no degree; only 10% or 10 of these students earn a college degree.

 

This means that of those who make it to college, more than half will not graduate.[3]

2. High barriers to college  graduation

1. High barriers to college graduation

Out of 100 Philadelphia high school students: 24 enroll in college yet 60% or 14 drop out of college, with debt, but no degree; only 10% or 10 of these students earn a college degree.

This means that of those who make it to college, more than half do not graduate.[1]

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2. Unmet mental health needs

Mental health is a leading cause of high drop-out rates among college students.
 

64% of young adults no longer attend college because of mental health related reasons. 

Among these students, depression and post-traumatic stress disorder are primary diagnoses. [2]

FGLI college students report lower ratings of belonging, greater levels of depression and stress, and lower use of services, compared to continuing-generation students.

FGLI students often experience culture shock on campus, yet do not have the social support, mentorship, and toolkit of skills needed to navigate the challenging transition.[3]

For a personal account of challenges that many FGLI students face, read Due’s article “Poor and Traumatized at Harvard” and her book Calm Clarity.

Sources 

  1. Philadelphia Public School Notebook, “New data: only 10% of  Philly students earn a degree,” 2010.

  2. National Alliance on Mental Illness, “College Students Speak: A Survey on Mental Health,” 2012

  3. Michael Stebleton,  “First-Generation Students’ Sense of Belonging, Mental Health, and Use  of Counseling Services at Public Research Universities,” 2014; The Hamilton Project (Thirteen Economic Facts about  Social Mobility and the Role of Education, June 2013).

We collaborate with and support current and future FGLI students to advocate for, build, and lead peer support programs  

The Peer Mentoring and Support Program is a collaborative platform that enables Peer Mentors to:

  • boost well-being by sharing science-based insights, tools, and techniques to reduce anxiety

  • design and build inclusive student-centered initiatives 

  • normalize and destigmatize conversations around mental health

  • develop leadership skills to make a difference

The Peer Mentors also find a sense of purpose from being able to: 

  • harness their creativity and talents to address a challenge that affects them and their peers

  • gain valuable experience and skills for personal and professional development

  • help others and leave a legacy that benefits future students.

Program Model

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  • Calm Clarity collaborates with an educational institution or nonprofit to recruit a team of Peer Mentors to build a Peer Support Program.
     

    • Ideally, the collaborator provides Peer Mentors with a stipend, salary, or course credit to work on this experiential project. 
       

  • Calm Clarity trains the Peer Mentors to facilitate and share Calm Clarity tools to improve well-being and mental health. Calm Clarity also guides the Peer Mentors to conduct research to better understand the unmet needs for mental health resources among students and then prototype, pilot, and develop a Peer Support Program to address those needs. 
     

  • As the Peer Mentors build their facilitation, communication, and social support skills, they gain confidence in their leadership and advocacy abilities and see firsthand how their voice matters and how their words and actions make a difference.
     

  • We nurture and empower the Peer Mentors to use their voice and creativity to research, ideate, and build new initiatives to improve well-being and mental health among their peers and in their communities.

Testimonials

"Thanks to Calm Clarity, I have been able to manage my stress better. It has made my life better and I have learned to let go of what was not under my control."

~Yeno Gbenou 
Fellow & Peer Mentor
at Drexel University

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"This time is really stressful for everyone and it's important to know how to manage anxiety because not everyone can afford professional help."

~Nathalie Dao
Peer Mentor
at Drexel University

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Volunteer

There are many ways to give. Contributing your time and skills will help us make a much larger impact in under-served communities. 

 

Students

Are you part of a student organization in high school, college, or graduate school that is concerned about mental health? 

Would your school or organization like to provide Calm Clarity's Peer Mentor training to equip your members to improve mental health and well-being in your school and community? 

 
Please email us at info@calmclarity.org

Professionals & Coaches

To provide in-kind services, please fill out this form to let us know your location, availability, and how you would like to get involved.

If you are an ICF-certified coach, please indicate in the volunteer form whether you would like to volunteer to be part of our coaching pilot 

Bring Calm Clarity to your school

Please contact us at info@calmclarity.org to discuss how to create impact together

What a Calm Clarity Training Could Look Like