News Release: HAMILTON, Bermuda – The Minister of Legal Affairs and Constitutional Reform, the Hon. Kathy Lynn Simmons, JP MP is pleased to announce that 28 students from S3 and S4 at CedarBridge Academy and The Berkeley Institute completed the first PeerForward Programme on June 21, 2022. PeerForward is Mirrors’ newest programme that develops students as peer influencers to work on enhancing a culture of college and career readiness in their schools.
Mirrors’ Programme Manager, Ms Kimberley Jackson, stated: “Very often, students focus much of their time and energy on meeting graduation requirements and not as much on preparing for what they will do after graduation. Through the PeerForward Programme, the Peer Leaders received leadership and advocacy skills and learned how to execute campaigns as they improved their college and career readiness preparations. They, along with their PeerForward Advisors, worked diligently on ensuring they applied to colleges and scholarships in a timely manner as they tracked not only their college and career documentation but supported and encouraged their classmates to meet deadlines as well.”
Ms Jackson added, “PeerForward started the last summer with a three-day leadership workshop. The peer leads received college and writing coaching by trained volunteers to support their process in selecting and applying to colleges. During the school year, peer leaders attended a fall session which focused on developing campaign activities for scholarship applications and data management on the PeerForward scoreboard. Then there was a spring training session which focused on scholarship applications and recruiting peer leaders for the upcoming academic year. As a team, they also met every other week, even virtually when necessary, to create and implement college preparation events to support their whole school.”
“Parents attended a series of “Finding Funding for College” webinars with a host of stakeholders including, CBA Student Services leader, Clindel Lowe; Bermuda College; Workforce Development; Ministry of Education scholarship committee members; local banks and Centennial Bermuda Foundation scholarship leaders. This has been quite a full year for the peer leaders, school advisors and parents.”
Richard Johnston, S4 peer leader from CedarBridge Academy, stated, “I learned that anything is possible, I expected just another regular workshop but when they started talking about colleges and resumes I really got interested. Before that I did not have a single clue on how to apply for a college or how to budget for it, I’m now more open-minded about exploring colleges and universities. I also learned how crucial it is to apply to certain places early and even apply to my dream colleges.”
Richard will graduate at the end of this month. His goal is to become a lawyer. He plans to start his college education at Bermuda College in September while getting in a good financial position to attend the University of Buckingham or the London School of Economics.
Arianna Sabir, a Berkeley Institute S3 peer leader, reported that she enjoyed the experience. When asked to share a highlight she replied, “Team building and bonding time which helped me to get out of my shell, and step into my leadership role and talk with other people.” This year Arianna will become a senior S4 peer leader.
At the end-of-year celebration, it was exciting to hear the S4 graduates share with confidence which colleges they will be attending in September and their future goals.
The upcoming 2022 cohort was recruited by the 2021 cohort and their school advisors during a very bold recruitment campaign in April and May. The majority of S3 peer leaders will continue to become the senior S4 peer leaders. The 2022 cohort will engage in a residential PeerForward summer intensive training on July 6, 7 and 8at the Willowbank Resort.
We know that this is just the beginning for these young high school graduates and we will continue to provide resources and support for them and their families. To this end, we have created a clearing house, a system of tracking students’ successes and challenges. We aim to continue to support their transition and stay in touch with them as they navigate their college and career journeys. We look forward to seeing the impact of this programme in developing Bermuda’s youth and community.
For more information on the Mirrors Programme or to volunteer call 294-9291 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.