Youth Mediators Receive Mentorship and Training

Shane Palacat-Nelson and Kealakehe Intermediate peer mediators

WHMC Board of Director Shane Palacat-Nelson and mediator volunteer extraordinaire Leroy Grose served as mentor-trainers to 16 peer mediators from Kealakehe Intermediate School in September, 2015. This was a very special training because the group was highly capable, engaging, and diverse. We all felt enriched by our experience with these young people. Special thanks to school counselor Lisa Harris for her coordination and mentoring efforts.

Leroy Grose and Kealakehe Intermediate peer mediatorsIt’s been a very busy fall for Youth Programs Coordinator Robyn Skudlarek. She has been training nearly 50 middle and high school peer mediators at Kohala Middle, Kohala High, and Kealakehe Intermediate schools. In order to effectively train these young mediators Robyn utilizes adult volunteer mediators and trained school counselors to serve as mentors during mock mediation sessions. WHMC Board member and mediator Shane Palacat-Nelson and volunteer mediators Leroy Grose and Melony Tavares have all served as youth mentors this fall. It is a really special opportunity to work with these young mentors; they are inspiring, humorous, and lively! Providing youth with a diversity of mentors during their training is critically important and Robyn is always looking for more volunteer mediators to serve in this capacity.

Our pilot middle and high school peer mediation program continues to expand. Robyn currently works with four middle schools and two high schools. Two additional high schools and one middle school – all in the Kona area – have expressed interest in starting up peer mediation programs and Robyn is engaged in planning and information gathering sessions with all three schools.

Because of the expansion of the pilot program, Chelsea LaFrance, case manager for WHMC, has taken over the coordination and training duties for the elementary school peer mediation program. Chelsea has a a lot of experience working with youth, has a great repoire with kids, and is really enjoying the opportunity to work in the schools.

If you would like to learn more about our youth programs or are a trained volunteer mediator who is willing in serving as a youth mentor, please contact the office at 885-5525.