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In the Face of Adversity 

Thursday, January 5, 2012 2:54:17 PM

By Kristin Jones, Associate Executive Director & Cary Trout, Senior Training Specialist

 

A seemingly routine training at a school in the Dallas area quickly became more extraordinary than expected, and has a couple of our trainers referring to it as one of their fondest and most inspiring moments in recent training history.

In the Temperature Reading portion of the training where students begin and continue to develop lasting bonds and friendships with one another, one of the students shared that recently many members of his family have been exposed to the deadly drug cartel-related violence along the U.S./Mexico border. As the trainers were shocked in hearing the details of his story, many of the other student participants were not at all surprised. What’s more, many of them shared similar stories in which members of their own families had also been directly exposed to the violence. 

Stories about the cartel-related violence are frequent in the recent news, like this Yahoo News article about drug cartels recruiting Texas children. These stories paint a bleak picture about the state of lawlessness near the U.S./Mexico Border. On the other hand, experiences like the one our trainers had at this particular school help shed a more positively optimistic light on these events. Within the walls of this school are students who are directly affected by the violence taking place around the U.S./Mexico border. Instead of allowing this violence to negatively impact them, these students rise above the violence and work to establish a peaceful environment at their school on a daily basis by serving as peer mediators. We are astounded by the sheer gravity of the challenges these students and their families face daily considering the current political and economic climates, and the respective struggles. However, we are more amazed by the grace and determination they exhibit as they overcome the negative obstacles they encounter.

It shouldn’t go without saying that the PMP Program at this school has consistently been one of the best evaluated programs we have. Staff has reported a distinct drop in the severity, as well as a clear shift in the type, of discipline referrals at the school since the PMP Program has been implemented. In large part, this could not be accomplished without the dedication and ardor of the school’s program coordinators. The paxUnited trainers are astonished at their willingness to go above and beyond for this program in a time when educators are continually being asked to do more with less. In the midst of a tremendous workload, they are emphatically committed to empowering their mediators to create and foster a positive, peaceful environment in their school and community.

In the face of adversity, a truly dedicated team of peer mediators and their coordinators are doing everything they are capable of in order to positively change the social climate of their school by offering assistance and bringing peace to all those that they encounter.

We couldn’t be more proud.

 

 

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