Thursday, October 15, 2015

6th Annual National Peer Helper Conference

Thursday, October 15, 2015


The Birth of the National Conference

Each February, the Jennifer Claire Moore Foundation hosts the National Peer Helper Conference in beautiful Point Clear, Alabama located on Mobile Bay.  The Jennifer Clair Moore Foundation was established in the memory of Jennifer Claire Moore who died by suicide at the age of 16 with no warning to her friends or family.  However, after reflecting on her daughter's suicide, her mother said there were warnings.  Although the warning signs were there, friends and family members were not educated on how to pick up the subtle hints she was telling them before her death. Unfortunately, this is all to common in the majority of homes and schools, but Jennifer's mom was determined to make a change!

A year after her daughter's death, Jennifer's mom established a foundation to fund a peer helping program in two of the schools that Jennifer attended in Baldwin County, Alabama.  One of the goals of these programs was to train students to identify signs of depression and suicide in their classmates and get them the help they needed.  Since establishing peer programs in those two schools, the county has slowly embraced Jennifer's mom's mission and now every school in the county has a peer program (it is truly amazing!).  Due to the foundation's great success in creating peer programs, the Jennifer Claire Moore Foundation decided to share their ideas and host a national conference in 2010.  Word quickly spread and a new conference was born.  Shortly after finding out about their program, the National Association of Peer Program Professionals decided to offer their support behind the conference and provide certified training to peer program sponsors.

History of the Jennifer Claire Moore Foundation

Description of the National Conference

Now in its sixth year, the conference has some really unique events and options for peer helper coordinators that I would like to share.

For Newbies

Option 1 – Full 3 Day Conference focused on new or upcoming Peer Helper Programs:
Wednesday – This day you will attend an adult and youth special event from 9am – 1:30pm known as the Peer Helper Jubilee, where speakers address student Peer Helpers in elementary, middle, and high school groups. The Jubilee also consists of youth networking and best practice sharing. After the Peer Helper Jubilee, conference attendees will meet for a 1 hours session to debrief and dive into methods of Peer Helper collaborations. Breakfast and lunch are included.
Thursday – Full day of “Building a Peer Helper Program from the Ground Up.” This course will cover establishing a Peer Helper Program as well as program evaluations and training Peer Helpers. This day will also consist of two general sessions. Breakfast and lunch are included
Friday – This day will consist of a general session and breakout sessions in which you will choose upon arrival. Breakfast is included.

or 

Option 2 – 2 Day Conference focused on New or Upcoming Peer Helper Programs
Thursday – Full day of “Building a Peer Helper Program from the Ground Up.” This course will cover establishing a Peer Helper Program, as well as program evaluations and training Peer Helpers. This day will also consist of two general sessions. Breakfast and lunch are included.
Friday – This day will consist of a general session as well as breakout sessions in which you will choose upon arrival. Breakfast is included.

For the Experience or Mature

Option 1 – Full 3 Day Conference focused on mature and experienced Peer Helper Programs
Wednesday – This day you will attend an adult and youth special event from 9am – 1:30pm known as the Peer Helper Jubilee, where speakers address student Peer Helpers in elementary, middle and high school groups. The Jubilee also consists of youth networking and best practice sharing. After the Peer Helper Jubilee, conference attendees will meet for a 1 hour session to debrief and dive into methods of Peer Helper collaboration. Breakfast and lunch are included.
Thursday – This day will consist of two general sessions and grade level focused breakout sessions. Breakfast and lunch are included. Breakfast and lunch are included.
Friday – This day will consist of a general session as well as breakout sessions in which you will choose upon arrival. Breakfast is included.
 
2015 Peer Helper Jubliee
or


Option 2 – 2 Day Conference focused on Mature or Experienced Peer Helper Programs
Thursday – This day will consist of two general sessions and grade level focused breakout sessions. Breakfast and lunch are included.
Friday – This day will consist of a general session as well as breakout sessions in which you will choose upon arrival. Breakfast is included.


Of course, I would be remiss if I did not mention the lodging.  It is spectacular!   The conference is held at the Marriott’s Grand Hotel Resort on the Bay of Mobile.  Some really wonderful events that I love about this hotel include tea time which is held everyday at 4:00  pm and the processional before the firing of the cannon.  You must check out their website to truly appreciate this hidden gem in LA (Lower Alabama).

National Peer Helper Conference


Grand Marriott
I hope I will see you at the conference and don't hesitate to contact the Jennifer Claire Moore Foundation if you have questions or need assistance!  They are amazing people!