S2S Peer Helpers ease the path at Bob Jones

One student group at Bob Jones High School welcomes their peers by treating them as they would want to be treated.

A few years ago, the Bob Jones staff organized S2S (Student to Student) Peer Helpers. Originally, S2S Peer Helpers were tasked to help new students transition to the Bob Jones culture and procedures — even the layout of the building.

As time progressed, the group excelled at those tasks and accepted new responsibilities. Social science teachers Bridget Drummond, Michael Hoyle and Scott Seeley sponsor S2S.

Peer Helpers are “advocates for positive change and healthy choices through ‘learning to help’ and ‘helping to learn,'” Drummond said.

Students must apply to join S2S. The sponsors review applications and meet with the prospective members. Once accepted, new members enroll in a training class.

S2S member Julia Schneider, who also serves as student representative to the Bob Jones PTSA, said Peer Helpers helped new students acclimate to the 2,000-plus student environment this semester.

“The process is overwhelming for almost every student we talk to,” Schneider said. “Because our area is such a melting pot, students come from all over the nation and the globe.”

This semester, S2S members have met students from India, Greece and Germany. “More than 65 new students came to our luau luncheon,” Schneider said. “We had pizza, handed out door prizes and had a fantastic time.”

S2S works with the Military Child Education Coalition (MCEC) to assist students in military families. Last summer, two S2S students attended the 2011 Annual MCEC Conference in Nashville.

During Red Ribbon Week, S2S Peer Helpers raised awareness at Bob Jones and city elementary schools. “We enjoyed teaching the kids about staying drug-, alcohol- and tobacco-free,” Schneider said.

Their efforts raised $5,783.68 for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.

“There’s a real feeling of family amongst these S2S kids,” Drummond said. “They’re making lifetime friendships.”

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