Students participate in Fairfax County Peer Mentoring Conference

Students+who+participated+in+the+conference+hold+a+banner+that+reads+Be+the+change.+Be+a+mentor.

Students who participated in the conference hold a banner that reads “Be the change. Be a mentor.”

Students from Annandale, Robert E. Lee, Chantilly, and West Springfield high schools gathered at AHS for the fourth annual Fairfax County Peer Mentoring Conference on January 18.

At this conference, students from all schools listened to opening guest speaker Daniel Yim, a former FCPS student who spoke about how peer mentors had helped him succeed in high school, and the impact they left on him the rest of his life. Then, students were broken up into multiple groups, and rotated through four different workshops. The workshops consisted of learning how to build relationships with people, team building, goal setting, and how to plan for the future, and help others plan for the future.

“It was really helpful learning the different techniques of how to mentor someone,” junior Melissa Pratt said.

Once students had rotated through the four different groups, they ate lunch and listened to guest speaker Evelyn Euceda. Euceda spoke about her journey from being a below average student, to getting a mentor who guided her throughout her high school and college experience, allowing her to graduate from college.

“It was really inspiring to hear her [Euceda] talk, and really show us what kind of difference we can make,” Pratt said.

At AHS peer mentoring is known as the Big Atom Little Atom program, which assigns upperclassmen to incoming freshman to help them adjust to high school. About fifty upperclassmen will help around fifty incoming freshman into their transition from middle school to high school.