Peer Counseling prepares to make a difference


Sienna Van Heijnsbergen , Staff Writer

A classroom fills with 80 students and fills with laughter and chatter as kids of all kinds and ages socialize before the presentation begins. Counselor Karly Wardwell steps into the middle of the room, and starts her presentation explaining how to help kids dealing with mental issues. Everyone immediately silences and eyes glue to the screen, everyone determined to make the most out of this opportunity. 

On Jan. 14 the Peer Counseling Program got together to start their year of helping improve mental health everywhere on campus. They met in room K1 and an  entire school day was filled with games, presentations, bonding activities, training, and showing vulnerability.

“I was scared at first because I didn’t know what to expect, but once I realized how kind and genuine everyone in PC is. I was really comfortable and excited to be there,” freshman Jack Fleck said.

They participated in trust walks, in which a blindfolded student is instructed to walk all the way down to Lake Poway, guided only by the voice of another Peer Counselor. Additionally, they wrote letters about their insecurities together and then burned them in a symbolic ritual. All of these activities helped the Peer Counselors themselves and helped the group. 

 Peer Counseling is a program at Poway High which trains selected students to help counsel their fellow peers about any struggles or issues they might be facing. They also bring awareness to many mental issues and provide resources for those that are dealing with them. Ranging from mental health, grades, friendships, etc, peer counselors are free to talk to about anything. 

“This program is so special to me because I feel that it truly represents the best of our school and how driven we are to improve the community on campus,” sophomore Lydia Manly said.

On Jan. 15 these students met at Lake Poway for a fun day filled with food, music, bonding activities, and good times. They ended the festivities with a talent show, in which all types of performances were held. 

“Both days of activities really fueled my excitement for this year, and I can’t wait to see what an impact we can make,” freshman Mackenzie Juza said.