Peer counseling and mentoring: uniting the student body

This story was originally published in the first edition of The Lion’s Tale (October 7th, 2021).

As Oviedo High School goes on to grow in population, so does the student bodys’ need for extra help and improvement. Even though the school is widely known for having numerous ‘straight A’ students, some still have a hard time keeping up,
and the Student Government Association (SGA) is here to show that that’s okay.

To answer the calls for support this 2021-2022 school year, the Oviedo High School SGA has made the new addition of the peer counseling and mentoring program. This program utilizes the school’s various qualified students to help aid the ones that may need some academic guidance, no matter how little or much they might need. Within this opportunity, students can sign up to receive or provide assistance in subjects or classes where their peers might struggle.

A leading advantage of this program is the chance to connect with experienced students from other grade levels and gain an understanding for being on the right track.

“It’s just a nice, helpful hand so you don’t have to feel afraid or intimidated to ask for advice and I just really like how it’s a nice comforting tool for underclassmen,” said senior and SGA member Caroline Pryzstup. “You have that person to confide in for those awkward questions or awkward moments or just figuring stuff out which can be hard, especially as an underclassman.”

Although the main purpose of the peer counseling and mentoring program is to help out and guide other students, one of the main appealing benefits of being in the tutor position is the pay of twenty dollars an hour. This can be considered a large amount compared to many other hourly wage jobs. For instance, minimum wage in Florida as of 2021 is ten dollars an hour, or half of the pay for the tutoring job, making this a very intriguing offer for students.

In addition to the several ways students can benefit from peer counseling and mentoring, the program also indirectly works towards uniting the typically divided student body.

“I think it brings unity to the campus because it gives opportunities for students who wouldn’t normally talk or interact with each other to work together,” Pryzstup said.

Overall, the peer counseling and mentoring program is expected to make a constructive and progressive impact on the OHS student body this school year.