Peer Mentoring: It’s Okay to Ask for Help

By Gabriella, Grade 11

A new program is launching in the Upper School- Peer mentoring! If you’re a student in the Upper School who has been struggling recently or want to talk to someone who may be able to offer some support and can relate to what you may be experiencing, this is for you! Peer mentors are empathetic Upper School students who are passionate about helping others by helping to build strong support systems in the ISP community. They are there to listen, without judgment, and provide students with a safe space to speak their mind.

What is Peer Mentoring, and why is ISP Adopting it? 

Peer mentoring is a fairly new concept that allows students to seek comfort and access a strong support system from a fellow peer.  Peer mentoring can become an integral part of school life, contribute to the wellbeing of the student body and improve the bond within  a community. This is not a replacement for therapy or school counseling, but instead will act as a safe space for students who would rather share their thoughts with someone their age. Additionally, mentors have participated in Peer Mentor training and will be individually supervised by a certified school counselor, who will be there to consult and provide advice when needed.

“The idea is to help create a positive school culture that breaks the silence around these issues and recognizes that everyone has ups and downs.”

Mary Kunhardt, Counsellor at Brunswick High School

Meet the Mentors!

Gabriella, Grade 11

Hi! My name is Gabriella, and I’m a 16 year old who has been living in Prague for 9 years. Although I’m American by birth, I’ve lived overseas my entire life, and have had to move around a lot, so I feel like I’ve always been searching for a place to call home. I’m an only child, but have a huge extended family, so when I go home in the summer I’m constantly surrounded by loved ones. At ISP I’m involved in NHS, Multimedia Storytellers and the Duke of Edinburgh program. I also have lots of interests outside of school- or as many as I can have when doing IB! I like running, binge-watching TV shows and movies on the weekends, and drawing.  I wanted to be a peer mentor, because I feel like I’m the person my friend’s turn to, and I’m always here to listen. Also, I’ve been through a lot myself, and want to help other people to realize there’s a light at the end of the tunnel. I’m here for you!

Lia, Grade 12

Hi, my name is Lia. I’m 18 years old and a 12th grader. I was born and raised in Prague although I originally come from four countries. Being from many countries and raised in different cultures, it has made it hard for me to adapt to one specific culture. I have an older sister, who is now studying in the Netherlands, and a younger brother that is currently in the third grade. In my free time, I read, write or paint. I applied to be a Peer Mentor because I enjoy helping people, am a good listener, and aspire to be a psychologist in the future. I have first-hand experience with the benefits of having someone to talk to due to some of the experiences I have been through throughout my life. I believe my own experience with difficult situations has allowed me to get a better understanding of other people and has also made me empathetic. 

Elis, Grade 11

Hi, my name is Elis and I’m 17 years old.  I’m in 11th grade and have been in ISP for 11 years. My mom is Czech, while my dad is half American and Turkish, so I am quite mixed. I have two older sisters (who are older by 7 and 11 years), and most of my family lives abroad, so I know what it’s like not having family members close to home. I am a volleyball player, and love art. The reason I’m taking part in the peer mentoring program is because I am frequently a shoulder to lean on for my friends, and even family members. I enjoy helping and making people feel better because I myself have experienced many difficulties (which I am willing to share), so being here, and having that ability to help others is very exciting. I am comfortable with talking to clients about anything. I am empathetic, and have an open mind, so I feel that I can help someone who may feel stuck and help lead them in a forward direction. I am here to do my best to help anyone in need!

How to Get Started

If you’re interested in talking to one of ISP’s new peer mentors, don’t hesitate to book an appointment through the Upper School Counsellor’s website, or use the contact information in this article. Keep an eye out for more updates as they come, and please let us know any feedback you have!