Peer Educators Network

Coley Hapeman, Director of Counseling Services
Coley Hapeman, Kimball Union’s Director of Counseling Services, has introduced a Peer Educators network to the KUA community. These student leaders “work to promote the well-being of the community…to support our students’ journeys towards making informed and healthy life-style choices.”
Here’s Coley:

The student life office is working to develop a Peer Educator group that will work in concert with our integrated advising program to support KUA students in a holistic manner. This winter we began a small pilot of the program and were pleasantly surprised when 30 students volunteered to help. We met on a number of evenings throughout the winter trimester and discussed the topics important to our students. The results of the Youth Risk Survey that we administered earlier in the year were discussed openly and in March, we worked with Meg and Perry from The Venture Out Project to do a workshop on how to support students struggling with gender identity issues. This experience gave the peer educators their first real taste of the work we hope they will carry forward as we formalize the program.
It has been inspiring to hear student thoughts on how to best support the KUA community. As we look toward the 2018-19 school year, students will have the opportunity to apply to be a peer educator. Those selected will attend regular meetings and undergo comprehensive and continuous training in consultation on topics that are relevant to student health and wellness. These students will work to promote the well-being of the community by developing creative and appropriate programming (such as workshops, “open house”, videos, and events) to support our students’ journeys toward making informed and healthy lifestyle choices. In addition, peer ed’s will model effective and positive communication, healthy habits, and a diverse range of healthy life choices, all for the benefit of the KUA community.
KUA Peer Educators:
Are clear and direct in their communication with others.
Practice active listening.
Work to make their peers feel seen and heard.
Are engaged in educating themselves about issues relevant to the health and wellness of KUA students.
Are enthusiastic about trying new habits, activities, and learning information to make themselves healthier/happier/more awesome.
Work as a part of a team.
Are able to articulate their personal values and use those values to inform effective decision making.
Have established boundaries that they role-model in everyday life.
Come from a diverse set of cultural, racial, geographic, and socioeconomic backgrounds and value the depth this diversity brings to KUA.
Are able to generate excitement about wellness topics through media campaigns, challenges, performances, and community interventions.

KUA Peer educators, in their own words:
Make people aware, productive.
Help people manage their time.
Inform the public.
Try to make HS life less scary, high school-y.
Are not student therapists (!!)
Find ways to get information to students.
Listen to others.
Help people be healthy.
Offer advice and teaching about habits and stay grounded.
Awareness of rules.


Kimball Union Academy

603-469-2000  · 603-469-2040 (fax)  ·
Founded in 1813, Kimball Union Academy is one of the oldest private boarding high schools in New Hampshire and the country. KUA blends the best of the New England boarding tradition with an innovative, modern educational program for a diverse group of day and boarding students from across the country and around the world. Located in Meriden, New Hampshire in the heart of the Upper Valley, Kimball Union is minutes from Dartmouth College and has direct access to Boston and New York.