Corner House Student Leadership
At our 8th Annual Corner House Student Leadership Institute, funded by the Griffin Cole Fund, more than 85 current and former student leaders came together to be trained as peer leaders who serve as positive role models and help lead substance abuse prevention, bully prevention and social skills development programs. This three day intensive retreat, held at Princeton University, prepares the leaders for the upcoming school year with team building activities, leadership skills development, anti-bullying skills, and substance abuse prevention education. The leadership teams consist of the following: Corner House Student Board (CHSB); Growing Up Accepted as an Individual in America (Project GAIA I & II); and Teen Advisory Group (TAG).
Corner House Student Board (CHSB) - Members of this board are seniors representing all four Princeton private and public schools; Princeton Day School, Princeton High School, the Hun School, and Stuart Country Day School. The Board brings a student’s perspective to all agency activities and programs. CHSB sponsors the following activities annually: All-City Dodge Ball Tournament, A Capella night, Friday Night Live programs and workshops for parents. Corner House Student Board members serve on selected Municipal Boards to provide a student perspective. Zachary Kleiman, former CHSB member told us: “Corner House provided me with a safe and truly unique space to talk about pressing social issues, and facilitated discussion about those subjects to foster our understanding of the world around us… Corner House served as a springboard for me to be an involved and well-informed citizen, and as a lens through which I could view the diverse and beautiful world and interactions around me.” Zack is currently a sophomore at Vanderbilt University.
Growing Up Accepted as an Individual in America (GAIA I & II) - For the first time, GAIA has expanded its program to include high school students in the public and private schools in Princeton. The goal of GAIA is to stop hate, promote peace, combat bullying, and to learn acceptance of others. All GAIA I members are juniors in high school who provide workshops on inclusion, bullying and diversity to 2nd grade students in the Princeton Public Schools. GAIA II students, who are juniors and seniors in high school, create skits to perform for middle school students about diversity and acceptance of others.
A recent graduate & former GAIA student stated: “In GAIA, I have realized the power each of us had in impacting the community. At one fifth grade workshop, a girl in my group pulled me aside at the end of the activities to tell me she had been nervous to talk in front of some kids in our group, because she didn’t really know them and thought they would make fun of her. Then, when we all started to share, she said she felt at ease and realized how much she had in common with these kids who had been virtual strangers all year long.” Cara Persico, PHS GAIA I & II
The Teen Advisory Group (TAG) – TAG is a peer leadership program comprised of 22 high school juniors representing the public and private schools in Princeton. The students meet weekly with a trained program facilitator for educational sessions. They create presentations for middle and high school students on the risks and consequences of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Other Drug use, abuse, and addiction.
Taylor Mills, a senior at Stuart Country Day School said the following about being a TAG team member: “Being part of TAG was a huge part of my junior year. From workshops to meetings, I enjoyed every aspect of being on the TAG team. I grew both as an individual and as a member of a team and I learned skills that I will carry with me through my whole life. The workshops were always rewarding as we got to see the impact we were making on the younger generation through their strong interest in our stories and other aspects of the workshops. These workshops allowed me to feel the direct impact I was making on the community, especially the youth. I can honestly say I loved being part of TAG and it impacted me more than anything else as it helped me develop decision making and refusal skills I will be able to use throughout my entire life”. Taylor is currently on The Corner House Student Board.