Peer Leaders, are junior and senior students who fill an essential role in First Year Seminar (FYS classes) as teaching assistants and peer mentors. Peer Leaders are trained to work with the new students during their first semester. In addition, they enroll in a weekly seminar class and are assigned to work with GSR 101 instructors. They teach a variety of activities within the class, and serve as mentors, positive role models, and tutors to new students.
Here are some former Peer Leaders and their stories!
I signed up to be a Peer Leader so I could revisit my freshmen year. I miss it so much and I wanted to make an investment towards FYE classes by emphasizing how important college life is. I wanted to collaborate with the students because I was a freshman once. I knew what it was like to be in a new environment and I wanted to be able to connect with those new students. I have found that being a Peer Leader is a rich experience, it is a once-in-life opportunity because from the first day to the last day of class; the personal growth in students is enormous. It gets better when your students passed the class with your help. You leave the semester knowing that you made a difference in students' first semester at Gallaudet University, what can get better than this?
My only advice to you, the first-year students is to get yourself out. Do not be timid, volunteer in many activities as possible and attend student organization meetings to see which one you want to be affiliated with. And, remember it is okay to make mistakes- everyone bounce higher from the fall. ~Clara Baldwin, senior
I got the job as a peer leader not because I found it but because it came to me. I was working as a Bison Leader during NSO week two summers ago and as I was wrapping up the week, one teacher came up to me and asked if I ever considered becoming a peer leader. After filling me in on the job description, I said yes! Funny how one job could lead to another. My experience was nothing short of great. I think I lucked out, though. I got an amazing class, an admirable teacher who kept us entertained and who gave us the opportunity to learn from each other. I also had a supportive group of fellow PLs! My favorite part was watching my class present their University Resources Project because it was good to see them visit different places on campus, which have helped me so much as a student over the years. Being part of organizations here on campus has helped me shape my college experience. I am currently the director of Tower Clock, our University yearbook and I love working with other students to produce a book of memories. My advice to new students would be to get to know Gallaudet and take each experience with an open mind. ~Amanda Amati, senior
I signed up to be a Peer Leader because I was born to be a social butterfly and have always had a strong passion in helping students to be successful. During my freshman year, a lot of my friends left due to bad grades so I wanted to stop seeing that happen with this year’s freshmen class. Students at Gallaudet are like my family and I want to see them succeed. I feel like I am more than a peer leader; I am a friend, role model, and co-worker. On days that I teach class, I show up early and chat with every individual student. I remind new students to complete their assignments and remind them to show up for workshops and events, and they appreciate this … it’s the best feeling. My experience as a Peer Leader was rich and exciting and I will always remember it in my heart. What I enjoyed the most about being a peer leader was being there for the students. My advice for first-year student is: Believe in yourself and you will be successful – be confident, be enthusiastic, and be optimistic.
This semester, I work as a blogger for Gallaudet University, note-taker under the department of Office for Students with Disabilities, peer mentor working with first-year students, and supplemental instructor leader in GSR 104. ~Jamaal Johnson, senior
I signed up because another peer leader asked me to try it out because she knew I would like helping other students and professors and to be able to learn how to teach as well. My experiences were wonderful! I taught classes for two years with Professor Waters and I enjoyed it very much. Each time, there were different challenges and I liked that. I'm majoring in Communication Studies and everything I do applies to my major. I learned to work with different people with different challenges. Overall it was a rich experience. The part I enjoyed the most about being a peer leader was to be able to see in the professor's eyes that I was actually gaining her respect. And to be able to work with students and impact them in different ways was amazing. The advice I would give peer leaders is to lighten up, don't be so rigid, work with students, be yourself but have boundaries. I'm involved with Delta Epsilon, vice president of Rainbow Society, work in Student Success program, involved in VDAY play, and best buddies fundraiser/activity coordinator. ~Marisa Mills, senior
I signed up to be a Peer Leader because my Peer Leader truly inspired me and made my first year to be successful. Therefore, I wanted to be a Peer Leader so I can aid the first-year students’ transition to the university community. Being a Peer Leader was an enriching experience for me! I had the opportunity to impact the lives and experiences of first-year students. I also enhanced networks with peers, faculty, and professionals here at Gallaudet University. I enjoyed meeting new students and seeing them continuing to be successful after taking the first year seminar class and throughout their remaining years at Gallaudet, which makes me to be extremely proud. Gallaudet has offered me plethora opportunities such as lifelong friendships, jobs on campus, travel internationally by doing a study abroad to India and first year study tour to Costa Rica, and so much more to mention. Gallaudet is my second home and I am seizing every moment of it! To the first-year students, if you ever need any further information about DC or Gallaudet then please feel free to ask Campus Activities, First Year Experience, and your Peer Leader. They have wonderful information and resources to share with you! ~Cara DiGiovanni, senior
Check out the flyer for Fall 2012 Peer Leader!
Click here for an application to become a Peer Leader!