Focus on Youth – Aquila Cotsford-Heather
Aquila Cotsford-Heather joined the peer helping program in Grade 7, completing PHIT (Peer Helpers In Training) before entering Teen Peer Helping. He feels it has aided him in coping with school.
“I learned to tune out the background noise, and ignore all the mindless gibber jabber. I can better interact with my peers now, too, and I learned how to deal with difficult people.”
In peer helping, kids gain skills that help them communicate with and understand others better.
“The most important parts for me were the ones focused on peer interactions, and the chance to practice what we learned on each other – like peaceful conflict resolution,” said Aquila. “Believe me, with three younger siblings, I need all the help I can get.”
Aquila actively encourages any youth thinking of going into the program.
“It’s a fun time for the most part, with a fair amount of actual work sprinkled in for good measure. But the real thing to take away from it is learning how to interact with, and support, your peers.”
Teen Peer Helping closed its doors in January due to loss of funding. Aquila was in the middle of the Peer Helping season. “I was really disappointed we didn’t get to finish out the year. I’d like to be involved again, and I know my little sister is excited about joining this September. I hope she has a chance to.”
Partner in Prevention: Phone 250-739-8929 to help get Teen Peer Helping up and running again.