PGC makes a difference at Washington

By Princess Kollie, Class of 2012

George Washington High School is not only a distinguished school, but also one where bullying, teasing, or fighting will not be tolerated.  We here at Washington have no available space for students who engage in this behavior due to their own low self-esteem, which is why we enforce the safety of every student with a positive environment from Washington peer mediators following Peer Group Connection (PGC).  Peer mediators are students of the same age-group who facilitate the resolution of disputes between two people or small groups, but among those peer mediators are also Peer Group Connection students.  Washington peer mediators consists of both junior and senior students who have completed training to become mediators, chose to be mediators, and understand that as mediators, they must be good examples for their fellow students and their school because being a mediator is not only about making peace between others but also keeping a peaceful environment among themselves.  This includes getting to class on time, coming to school on time, passing every class, following the school dress code, and respecting other students and staff in and out of school.

On October 25, 2010, I visited the PGC students in room 35 to observe how they handle situations as mediators and PGC students, giving them the impression that I know nothing about mediators or PGC.  The truth is, I myself am a mediator but wanted to know more about PGC, get the inside details of PGC and what it’s all about.  PGC students are the mentors for freshmen at Washington; they are assigned freshmen to guide through their freshmen year and to help with homework, social problems they may be having, and to give advice.  

During my visit, the members of PGC talked about when they were once caught in a bad situation at school, how they dealt with it, and how looking back now, they realize it was a foolish choice they made. One student’s story that caught my attention was that of Victoria Lackey, the niece of our disciplinary, Mrs. Stacey Lackey.  Victoria shared her experience cutting school during her freshmen year and how she was faced with consequences.  She also shared how she can encourage freshmen to not get themselves into that situation because of the consequences.  Another student, Donovan Morris, who is in training to become a peer mediator and PGC student, also gave insight into how he has helped a freshman that he met through PGC by walking the freshman to class most of the time and asking how the student is doing in all his classes and with the school.

PGC is formed from the group of Peer Mediators that consists of all seniors.  The main goals of the PGC are to get freshmen connected with the school and help them make their freshman year a successful one.  From the research I did, freshmen tend to believe that high school is a nightmare and is a place they will never survive, and that is when PGC comes into the picture by talking with freshmen, getting their inside thoughts, and ensuring them that they are in a safe learning environment.  After all, George Washington High School is the place to be where the safety of every student is guaranteed through the staff, peer mediators, and Peer Group Connection.  I’m proud to be a student of George Washington High School because of the safe learning environment that is enforced here.  Great applause to the peer mediators and Peer Group Connection for their wonderful work and the difference they make in the school and to the coordinator, Mrs. Bonnie Hughes, who works with both groups and helps them be who they are.

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