Strength is Key

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In an effort to continue a mission to spread hope, help and strength through the halls of the Earl L Vandermeulen High School, seven members of the high school Sources of Strength group trained incoming freshman as peer leaders.

During the 90-minute training, held on May 26, 22 eighth-graders participated in group activities that were planned by the high school students and included powerful messages. Corrine Scannell, Billy Scannell, Samantha Acampora, Ava Schully, Matt Pifko, David Moir and Alexa Wakefield were the peer leaders.

“The seven Sources of Strength students spent a lot of thoughtful time and energy designing inclusive activities that made the eighth-graders feel comfortable to share while also creating an environment of trust and openness,” said Port Jefferson School District social worker Kristin Britt. Ms. Britt advises the program along with guidance counselors Kerri Neligon and Kathi Galvin and school psychologist Kristen Wendel.

The eighth-grade participants were nominated for the training by their teachers. Nominations were based on which students could provide support to their peers should they need support during difficult times.

“They are considered the connectors between their peers and trusted adults within the school,” said Britt.