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Date of Graduation
Bachelor of Science (BS)
Department of Justice Studies
Daniel J. Beers
Immigrant and refugee youth are at greater risk of encountering the following stressors: trauma, acculturation, resettlement, and isolation. If neglected, these stressors can prove detrimental to one’s social-emotional wellbeing. Although a newcomer’s successful adaptation is often measured in terms of their academic success, social-emotional wellbeing and academic achievement are intertwined. Thus, a focus on social-emotional wellness for newcomer students benefits both the students and the school systems. Co-curricular mentorship programs can be utilized by schools to meet the social-emotional needs of their newcomer students. The Peer Leaders Program (PLP) of Harrisonburg, Virginia offers one such approach. Based on trauma-informed peer support research, the Peer Leaders Program uses multi-level mentoring and flexible programming to allow newcomer students to process identity with people who share similar cultures and backgrounds. Through this program, findings suggest that refugee youth process trauma, build confidence, strengthen leadership skills, and become civically engaged with their community.
Clayton, Katherine M., "How do co-curricular mentorship programs meet the social-emotional needs of immigrant and refugee youth? A case study from Harrisonburg, Virginia" (2022). Senior Honors Projects, 2020-current. 143.