The residents of Green Hill School (GHS) have launched their first formal peer-to-peer mentoring program. The M.A.D.E. Men Peer Mentoring program puts making a difference every day (M.A.D.E.) at the center of its mission. The goal of the program is to support struggling residents who could benefit from peer support.
The program originated with Muhamed, a young adult who transferred to GHS from the Department of Corrections with the implementation of JR to 25. Muhamed has experienced tremendous growth during his incarceration. Seeing a need among his peers and realizing he could make a difference, Muhamed approached GHS’s administration with his peer mentoring idea and was asked to write a proposal. From there, the M.A.D.E. Men Peer Mentoring program quickly took shape.
“Sometimes residents need someone to talk to them at their level, to help them understand better what staff are trying to provide,” said Muhamed.
Muhamed identified a small group of young adults at GHS who shared his vision. Meeting regularly, they developed the program proposal as a team. Together, they presented the final proposal to GHS management, centering on helping young people at GHS focus on long-term goals, take advantage of programs, and contribute to their community in positive ways. The proposal was accepted and the M.A.D.E. Men Peer Mentoring program became official.
The M.A.D.E. Men team will receive peer mentoring training over the next five weeks, which will equip them with the tools and skills needed to fully support their peers. What’s more, with the support of DCYF’s partners at Pacific Mountain Workforce Development Council and the Division of Vocational Rehabilitation (DVR), GHS has established the youth mentor roles as work-based learning positions with wages to support their reentry.
This program aligns with DCYF's strategic priority to transition youth into adulthood with therapeutic environments and enhanced availability of services and supports. Special thanks to Rashad Norris of Relevant Engagement Consulting, Peer Engagement Specialist Tyus Reed, and DCYF’s Lisa McAllister, Ted Ryle, and Nicole Miller for supporting these youth in bringing their vision to life.