Peer-led Program Gives Opportunity For Immigrant Youth to Mentor Newcomer High School Students

Edmonton, AB – August 16, 2011 – Newcomer Orientation Week (NOW) Peer Leaders Training, offered by In-School Settlement Services, will give immigrant youth an opportunity to turn the past challenges they faced and overcame during their own first weeks in Canadian high schools into a shared learning experience for newly arrived immigrant students at Queen Elizabeth High School and St. Joseph Catholic High School. Training will take place from August 16-18, 2011 (8:30 a.m. – 3:30 p.m.) at Centre for Education (One Kingsway).

“We use peer leaders, because we want newcomers to know about the Canadian high school system from students who were once newcomer students themselves,” explains Regional Program Coordinator Oliver Kamau.

Having previously faced similar challenges related to language barriers, making new friends, and unfamiliarity with the Canadian school culture, peer leaders will gain leadership skills, so that they can mentor and help prepare students who have been in Canada for only a few weeks or months for their first weeks of classes.

This is the first time NOW Peer Leaders Training will include students from St. Joseph Catholic High School after having been offered for the first time to students at Queen Elizabeth High School in August 2010.

The In-School Settlement Services (ISSS) Program connects newly arrived families with services and resources that will promote settlement and foster student achievement. The program uses a coordinated approach to service delivery among partnering settlement agencies and school districts in Edmonton, Fort McMurray and Grande Prairie with funding from Citizenship & Immigration Canada. For more information about the program, visit

For more information about NOW or to schedule an interview contact Kristina de Guzman at / (780) 292-1811 or Oliver Kamau at 780-887-2076 /


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