Peer Counselors Persevere Through Pandemic


Elijah Roeper

Juniors Camille Deranleau and Micah Malouff stand inside of the peer counseling office. Camille and Micah are first-year counsellors. “There is a lot I like about peer counseling, I like the team aspect, being a help to the school by spreading school spirit, and just knowing there are people for students to come see if they are having issues that are outside of the staff, which I feel makes it a more trusting environment.” Deranleau said.

       The Peer Counselors have been using both in-person and zoom meetings to counsel their peers through the pandemic.

       New counselors began last semester with virtual training to build counseling skills. There had been no time for the new peer counselors to interact with one another, though, until after spring break and the return of full-time in-person school.

       “It was interesting for our training because we had a semester of training for peer counseling, and most of it was through zoom so it was harder to learn the actual counseling techniques when you’re doing it through a camera,” junior Tristan Hubbard said.

       Fewer students have been going to peer counseling this year than previous years. The remote and in-person mixture has decreased the amount of people in the building and the weird schedule has contributed as well.

       “I feel like a lot of kids are not coming in because of online school, and it’s harder to do zoom sessions,” junior Samantha Ferguson said.

       New incoming junior peer counselors will begin training next semester, hopefully in an entirely in-person environment instead of last semester’s virtual one.

The inside of the peer counseling office, located near the commons and to the left of the main office. The room features a couch and leather chair with a whiteboard. “Peer counseling has been very good this year, although I will say it hasn’t been as exciting as usual. We haven’t had as many clients being online with Covid so we haven’t had that whole client-counselor bounding type thing,” Deranleau said. (Elijah Roeper)

       “A lot of times we haven’t really had people come in, which is what we are here to do,” junior Faith Fletcher said. “Especially doing diversity day and whatnot, it’s just been really weird. Our training was really hard because we couldn’t connect on a different level, and all the people in our group right now are just starting to connect but not fully because we didn’t get to become vulnerable with each other until around now, until we could all come back to school.”

       Peer counseling is trying to let students know they are still here. They have been reaching out to students with posters to remind them that they can come in person or online by scheduling an appointment on the CHS website.