Ways Kids Benefit from Peer Leadership - Part I
The Junior Counselor Program is one of the most important components of the Summit Summer Olympics Program. Junior Counselors are high school students that have come up through Summit's tutoring mentoring programs as mentees and campers, and are able to continue to grow in virtues and academics within the Summit family.
JCs assist the Counselors on each team in various ways, but most important is their role as a peer leader and the effect it has both on the campers in program as well as the high school students themselves. Here's how:
1. Kids are Able to Relate in a Unique Way - The Summit students see their Junior Counselor as someone who has walked in their shoes, and has been where they are now. Not only do students aspire to be like their JCs one day, they also see that it is an attainable goal.
2. Friendship and Trust - When students develop friendships with someone a little older than they are, they receive advice about school, family and friends with someone they relate to in a special way. Through their friendship, students build trust and confidence with their JC.
3. Leadership Skills - High school students naturally develop leadership skills while working as a Junior Counselor. They know that the younger students on their team look up to them as a peer leader, and they learn how to act as a role model and fill the shoes that the younger students have made for them.
4. High School Students Learn to Serve Others - As a Junior Counselor, high school students learn to put the cares of others before themselves and truly come to understand what is means to serve. JCs are also able to put the virtues that they learned as campers into practice, such as responsibility, patience, and obedience.
5. Mutual Growth in Younger and Older Students - Both campers and JCs grow as a result of the friendships that have been developed at Summit. Many high school students compare the relationship to that of being an older brother or sister to the boys or girls in the program - JCs learn to look out for the campers and want what's best for them. Similarly, the young students are grateful for the friendship and advice they receive from their JCs, and are given aspirations and goals to work towards.