PeerForward Expands Internationally to Bermuda

For 25 years, PeerForward has leveraged positive peer influence to empower low-income students in 11 states and the District of Columbia. Rooted in community-based solutions, PeerForward aims to combat the vast disparities in educational attainment by training influential students to provide high schools the additional capacity needed to support all students on a path to college and career. Through transformative leadership training, Peer Leaders learn how to identify resources, tools, and opportunities to inspire their peers to postsecondary success.

PeerForward’s mission of uplifting low-income, first-generation students spans much farther than America’s borders. This summer, in partnership with the Mirrors Programme, PeerForward welcomed their first cohort of international Peer Leaders. With a total of 26 Peer Leaders, six PeerForward advisors, and a host of volunteers and program supporters, the event drew excitement from program participants and partners alike:

Peer Leader heading into session

“I have now found the right place for me.” – on why the college sessions were their favorite part – CedarBridge Academy student, Bermuda

The workshop was an in-person, non-residential event held at The Berkeley Institute in accordance with the Bermuda Government COVID-19 Guidelines. PeerForward eagerly worked alongside the Mirrors Programme to prepare students with leadership training, campaign building skills, personal statement crafting, data collection, growth mindset, and postsecondary planning skills.

“We are excited about this new programming as it seeks to provide all students with a clear postsecondary plan that is designed to start at S1 through S4.” Kimberley Jackson, Mirrors Programme Manager

Our newest cohort of Peer Leaders, located at The Berkeley Institute and CedarBridge Academy, will activate campaigns and services in their high schools to grow a college-going culture at both school campuses. After a recent spike in COVID-19 cases indefinitely delayed an in-person return to all Bermuda Public Schools, this Peer Leader group created plans to “huddle” with their PeerForward Coaches, Tim Spicer and Mike Ferron, to develop a new virtual approach to campaign planning.

“This program will definitely be a spark to ignite change in college planning for all students. We cannot wait to see the students activate campaigns in their schools.” – John Perinchief, the board chairman of The Mirrors Programme.

PeerForward and Mirrors Programme Staff at The Berkeley Institute

PeerForward is thrilled to have our partners, the Mirrors Programme working diligently alongside us as the organization inspires a new generation of Peer Leaders.

A special thank you to our guests:

Dr. Ernest- Peets Jr.  JP Minister of Youth, Culture & Sport, Bermuda; Vivien Carter, Director of Programmes, Centennial Bermuda Foundation; Myra Virgil, CEO and Managing Director, Bermuda Community Foundation; Deputy Principal Nadia Robinson, Berkeley Institue; Principal Keisha L. Douglas, Berkeley Institue; and Commissioner of Education, Kalmar Richards.

Additional quotes provided by Gareth Finighan of The Royal Gazette


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