MCC Grant Funds Peer-facilitated Support Group Program
Michigan Campus Compact has awarded a Youth to Youth Fellowship
Grant to an Alma College program piloted by Paw Paw senior Rachel
Krefman and program advisor Thomas Batchelder.
Krefman, for her senior thesis project, proposed the implementation of a peer-facilitated support group program for high schools. The program was launched this fall with Alma Republic, an alternative education high school. Sabrina Sylvain, a specialist in teen counseling, trained four student facilitators from Alma Republic.
“Rachel’s grant from MCC enabled us to pay for the training,” said Batchelder, an assistant professor of psychology at Alma College. “Since September, the high school student groups have met twice a week at Alma Republic. The student facilitators are very savvy and are going a great job as leaders and facilitators.
“We are piloting the program this semester; we hope we can expand to more schools next semester,” he said.
Support group participants discuss a wide range of issues and stressors, including family, self-esteem, school, jobs and the future. Facilitators provide support but do not attempt therapy.
“The students can discuss issues in open and honest ways, probably more open and honest than if an adult was present,” said Krefman, a senior at Alma College majoring in psychology. A graduate of Paw Paw High School, she is the daughter of Steve Krefman.
The high school students who serve as the support group facilitators benefit from the program in multiple ways, said Krefman. Their participation will help them consider possible career paths in human services, gain experiences as leaders and learn important listening and conflict resolution skills.
Alma College was one of three award recipients in the 2007-08 granting cycle.
Michigan Campus Compact’s Youth to Youth Fellowship grants are financial awards up to $2,000 that are part of MCC’s Investing in College Futures Learn and Serve grant program, funding projects that positively impact disadvantaged youth. Applications for Youth to Youth funds are open to students on MCC member campuses who wish to partner with a community agency in order to benefit disadvantaged youth and positively reinforce the merits of higher education among current college students and disadvantaged youth.
MCC is a state-level non-profit organization that promotes the education and commitment of Michigan college students to be civically engaged citizens through academic, co-curricular and campus-wide opportunities for community service and service learning.
Posted: Mon, December 10th, 2007 at 8:11AM