Youth Initiative

Youth Initiative

Our Mission

The NSCMC Conflict Resolution Education Collaborative seeks to enhance the wellbeing of students, teachers, and administrators by sharing the knowledge and effective tools of conflict resolution and mediation. Through peer mediation trainings and school wide social-emotional learning initiatives, NSCMC helps create a safe environment in schools where constructive education, peaceful communication, and positive relationships can flourish.

WHAT IS PEER MEDIATION?
Peer mediation is a voluntary process during which student mediators help other students to resolve their disputes. We follow the formal mediation procedure that is used in courts and schools across the country. Everything said during mediation is kept strictly confidential unless a student threatens to hurt someone else or him/herself. Mediators are neutral and never take sides, show bias toward one party or the other, or force an agreement; their role is to listen, ensure respectful interaction, and ask thought-provoking questions. Young people are effective mediators because they understand their peers and make problem-solving more natural. Mediators learn “real world” skills such as active listening, communicating feelings, building trust, and critical thinking. Students in conflict also develop these skills, as they are encouraged to “own” the content and outcome of their mediation; it is up to them to think creatively and collaboratively in order to find a mutually-satisfying agreement.

WHY PEER MEDIATION?
Conflict is a normal part of life, but interpersonal student conflict can become a serious impediment to learning, create an unsafe atmosphere, and lead to acts of violence. Often times, conflicts are “solved” by disciplinary action from a school administrator, leaving the underlying issues unresolved and likely to resurface. With peer mediation, students are given the chance to tell their story and talk about what they want and how they feel without fear of judgment or punishment. Peer mediators don’t dictate or force a resolution; rather, they listen and ask questions, following a proven problem-solving process that is used in courts, schools, and even international negotiations. In this way, conflict can become a unique opportunity for educating both mediators and parties about effective communication, mutual respect, and healthy relationships.

WHAT KINDS OF DISPUTES CAN BE MEDIATED?

  • Misunderstandings between students
  • Teasing or name-calling
  • Relationship arguments
  • Accusations of theft or destruction of property
  • Rumors and/or fights between groups

The Program Coordinator and school officials will determine which disputes are appropriate for mediation. Using mediation in addition to traditional discipline can work toward preventing reoccurrence or escalation of student disputes.
Click >hereA Role for Peer Mediation to learn more about Peer Mediation.
Click here to learn more about mediation and conflict resolution in the world

Our Impact 

Testimonials:  
“Mediation has given me the skills to solve conflicts not only in a formal mediation setting, but also at home. It has helped me develop as a person and has given me the ability to truly hear all sides of the story, and not just make assumptions. I feel like I am a more patient leader than I was before I was trained in mediation. Mediation has helped me further understand status in a school structure, through conflict as well as bullying.”

    – Student, Nock Middle School

“I have witnessed some incredible transformations in kids during mediation. The art of listening and really hearing how someone has been hurt or disrespected can be very powerful. I feel students who have participated in peer mediation think twice before repeating the same behaviors again.”

     – Kim Bergey Andover High School

“Peer mediation has given me skills to resolve conflicts and help others. Being a mediator is a sign of leadership which makes me feel as if I am doing something beneficial for my environment. By contributing to this program I have learned leadership skills and life lessons that will be useful throughout my life. This experience has helped me with many social situations with family, friends, teachers and coaches. I look to peer mediation as a way to become a leader and become helpful to the people who seek our guidance in finding solutions.”

     – Student, Marblehead High School

Schools That Have Received Peer Mediation Training:
Here’s a list of schools that have received training in the past.  If you would like to contact a school, I can provide you with contact information.

Lynnfield High School, Marblehead High School, Glen Urquhart, Project Y.E.S. & Hot Topix, Marshall Middle School, Dracut High School, Breed Middle School, Higgins Middle School, Ipswich High School, Hamilton Wenham High school, Briscoe Middle School, Memorial Middle School, St. Mary’s School, St. John the Evangelist School, Beverly High School, Nock Middle School, Lakeview Junior High, Miles River Middle School, North Shore Technical High School, Pentucket Regional High School, Swampscott High School, Triton High School, Triton Middle School, Peabody High School, Newburyport High School, Gordon College, Salem State University

What We Do

School Peer Mediation Programs
We establish and support Peer Mediation Programs in middle and high schools north of Boston. These programs offer an alternative way for students to resolve disputes through a voluntary,confidential process led by their peers. During the twenty-hour training we provide student mediators, we use role-play, group activities, discussion, and conflict theory to develop important skills, such as active listening, effective communication, trust building, problem solving, and brainstorming. Because they can understand and relate to the experiences of their peers, student mediators ensure the problem-solving process is natural and set a positive example for the entire student body. Mediators can use their skills in any situation and share their insight with all types of people, thus becoming a dynamic force in the broader movement of those calling for peace in our world.

Customized Conflict Resolution Trainings
We offer customized conflict resolution trainings to the students and staff of schools, after-school programs, youth groups, camps and any other group associated with youth education. NSCMC’s Director of Youth Programs will help your school or program identify what type of conflict resolution program will best meet your needs.

Annual Peer Mediators’ Forum
We invite you to attend our annual Peer Mediators’ Forum, which brings student mediators from different schools together to share insight, experiences, concerns, ideas, and current trends in peer mediation and conflict resolution. Our previous forums have featured an impressive array of voices from the world of conflict transformation, including 2011 Nobel Peace Prize winner, Leymah Gbowee. The next forum will be held in the spring of 2017.  Click here to learn more about our Peer Mediators’ Forum.

Forum

Bring a NSCMC Program to your school!

Get Involved
For more information about or any of these programs; please contact Anya McDavitt, Director of Youth Programs, at 978-232-0002 or anya@nsmediation.org.

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