"I HAVE NEVER SEEN A GROUP OF KIDS
WHO WERE BASICALLY STRANGERS, BOND IN A WAY
AS THEY DID DURING THIS
Counselor, Coral Reef Sr. High
MCCJ’s Student Voices, formerly known as the Heritage Panels, is a leadership, prejudice-reduction, and anti-bullying program. Since 1991, MCCJ staff and school counselors have worked together to empower high school students to explore cultural diversity within their communities and develop self-esteem, while fostering values that support the understanding of individual differences. The Student Voices program begins with a two-day, off campus training, co-facilitated by MCCJ Staff and school counselors. During the training, youth undergo trust-building exercises that gradually allow them to open up and form meaningful relationships with their classmates. MCCJ staff and counselors then provide Student Voices trainees with tools to appropriately confront prejudice in all its forms, including stereotyping, bullying and discrimination. The training concludes by preparing students to serve as a Student Voices Panelist. Following the training, Student Voices Panelists share their experiences of prejudice, bullying, and discrimination with their classmates, and work with counselors to co-facilitate the ensuing class discussion. This peer education methodology deeply impacts school culture, reaching hundreds of students and tangibly reducing bullying, intimidation, cliques, taunting and harassment in the classroom.
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"THIS HAS BEEN INSTRUMENTAL HELP IN
BREAKING DOWN A LOT OF BARRIERS,
STEREOTYPES, BIGOTRY, AND HATRED."
COUNSELOR, NORLAND SR. HIGH