In the tumultuous time that is high school, teenagers are given their first glimpse of independence. Still just kids, this often ends in mistakes and failures, but ultimately a lesson to learn from. This is also where counselors and parents try to swoop in, and chime in with their two-cents but sometimes, the best people to give advice to teenagers are other teenagers. This idea is what helped found MC’s peer counselors: a group of students whose mission is to support their fellow students and teenagers in figuring out this thing called life.
“Peer counselors are a little different from the school counselors in that we’re all students [trying] to build a better school atmosphere at MC,” Peer Counseling Vice President and Senior Vincent Tran said. “Generally for students that need help with anything, they can go to our club advisors Mrs. Hatfield or Mrs Bronson and they can pair the student with a peer counselor who can talk with them.”
Peer Counselors are reflective of the school as a whole, and MC’s diversity is represented in this small group.
“The unique part of this is that all of our peer counselors are involved in different activities and come from different backgrounds. This helps students to relate to peer counselors and to become a little more comfortable when sharing their problems.”
In combination with talking with fellow students, Peer Counselors work in multiple events throughout the year to create a welcoming atmosphere for all students.
“We are trying to interact with students on a personal basis, but at the same time we aim to incorporate as many people as possible,” Peer Counseling President and Senior Devon Romero said. “From handing out candy grams to random students on Halloween, to hosting New Student Lunches at the beginning of every trimester, we unify Sundevils on a weekly basis.”
Peer counseling reach is not limited to just 9550 Carmel Mountain Rd, but extends to other PUSD campuses.
“Our efforts even extend off the Mt. Carmel campus. Peer Counselors help tutor students at the Los Pen Study Center, and play active roles throughout the community,” Romero said.
Peer counseling does receive a lot of support from MC administrators, and each counselor is hand-picked by someone with a bit more timely wisdom.
“At the end of each year, current Peer Counselors get to nominate peers that they feel are suitable for the program, that can apply to be in the program for the following year. Teachers also get to nominate students,” Romero said. “[We receive] amazing support from our advisors, Mrs. Hatfield, Mrs. Bronson, and Mr. Roy. They help us connect with a broad range of students across campus, and they assist us in organizing a lot of the different events that peer counselors run.”
Currently on the counselor’s agenda, is an ice skating fundraiser at the San Diego Ice Arena. The money raised at this event will eventually go back into supporting fellow Sundevils on campus.
“The money will go towards supplies either for other programs peer counseling helps out with or supplies for on-campus events we do,” Peer Counseling Treasurer and Senior Lauren Saclauso said. “Red Ribbon week and great kindness challenge are two of the campus programs [we have helped with] but peer counseling also organizes new student lunches once a trimester and we’re currently collecting gifts for Los Pen’s after school program.”
Peer counselors are a unique addition to MC, but beyond school, they are unique kids who exemplify the Sundevil Way throughout their community. To get in contact with a Peer counselor, students can go to Student Services in D-18 or keep up with them @mchspeercounseling on Instagram.