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The Harvard-Westlake Chronicle

The Student News Site of Harvard-Westlake School

The Harvard-Westlake Chronicle

The Student News Site of Harvard-Westlake School

The Harvard-Westlake Chronicle

Peer Support coordinators selected for 2024-2025 school year

Van Kamenstein ’25, Pearl Gatins ’25, and Assistant Opinion Editors Eden Conner ’25 and Hana Mehdi Williams ’25 were chosen to serve as Peer Support coordinators for the 2024-2025 school year, according to an email from Head of Peer Support Tina McGraw ’01 on April 18. Each Peer Support trainee who applied for the position gave a speech to the full group of trainees on April 15, and four students were selected out of the 16 candidates.

This year, the program implemented a new selection process for the election of coordinators, in which two were elected by popular vote and two were chosen by faculty advisers McGraw and Peer Support Faculty Adviser and Upper School Counselor Brittany Bronson, according to Conner.

Gatins said she applied to be a coordinator because of how much the program has taught her.

Bronson said that she was searching for someone with specific qualities when helping select next year’s coordinators.

“Some of the things we were looking for were empathy, what kind of leadership opportunities you [have] had, why you [joined] Peer Support, and why you want to be a trainee or leader,” Bronson said. [Being a coordinator] is not for everyone, and it can take a toll [on a student] to hear people’s problems and challenges.”

Bronson said that Peer Support is a way for students to build a support system and

“Peer Support is a great way for students to connect with other students from different grades that they haven’t seen before,” Bronson said. “It’s a really good way to connect with other people, and also to build empathy. It’s a really important skill [for] students to care about one another and support one another.”

Gatins said that she hopes that Peer Support will continue to be a large part of student life at the Upper School.

“I hope Peer Support will continue to uplift and connect our community,” Gatins said. “This program is so unique and I hope that it is as cherished and celebrated as it has in the years past. Coming to the Upper School I was very insecure and intimidated by everyone around me. Yet, Peer Support serves as a light to celebrate each other in a place that is positive and inclusive. Overall, I just hope that the legacy of this program will continue to be a highlight in students’ memories of high school.”

Emma Lutsky ’26 said that the program’s coordinators play an important role in resolving issues within the club.

“[The coordinators] are always trying to make sure everybody feels included and safe,” Lutsky said. “[I had] an issue once so I reached out to a coordinator, and she completely fixed it and was so empathetic.”

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About the Contributor
Colin Ho
Colin Ho, Sophomore Editor
Colin Ho ’26 is the Sophomore Editor of the Chronicle. In his free time, Ho said he likes to sing, listen to music and go out with friends. Ho said he also enjoys going out to nature and trying new restaurants with his family. Ho said he joined the media program because he wanted to become a better writer. “I joined media because I was interested in learning more about journalism and how it works because I have been intrigued by journalism since middle school,” Ho said. “I wanted to learn about how to interview people and talk to people I don’t know because I think that’s a really important skill to have.” Ho said he is most excited to work in different sections and at layout. “This year, I am looking forward to being able to get more involved and writing more articles, as well as expanding my range and trying to write articles in different sections, such as A&E or Opinion,” Ho said. “I am also looking forward to layout because I think it’s a great opportunity to bond with the other people on The Chronicle.”

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