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About SSA: Program Model

Outlined below are some of the key program components, the ones that make the SSA program unique and powerful.

Recruiting

Staff and students identify the socially influential youth on campus, the opinion leaders of every clique and group. Research shows that these key youth are much more likely to intervene - especially when they have the skills to do it effectively - because they have the most "social capital."

Selecting

Students are invited to begin a dialogue about school climate and mistreatment. Their voices are heard and their views are valued. They participate in an orientation to the Ambassadors program, and can choose "in" or "out".

Training

A powerful 2-day experience for approximately 30 to 40 students and the 6-8 adults who will work with them during the school year. Working together with the adults, they develop a deeper understanding of the problem of mistreatment on their campus, and learn powerful communication and intervention skills. Learn more about the Training.

Action

The SSA Program model allows Ambassadors to be safe, cool, and effective. Ambassadors first intervene with their close friends and others they know well; this familiarity increases their effectiveness and reduces the risk of retaliation. Ambassadors also act in the moment, as cruelty is happening, so their impact is immediate; they don't need to wait for an appointment with a counselor or mediator.

Record Keeping

Ambassadors record their interventions on Action Logs that capture basic information like the date, time, and place of the incident, as well as the type(s) of mistreatment observed, the number of people involved (but NOT their names), the skill(s) utilized, and the outcome of the intervention.

Supervision and Support

Ambassadors participate in brief regular meetings facilitated by trained staff members to help them sharpen their skills and deepen their commitment to the work. See the Organization Chart & Roles to learn more about the program's structure.

Recognition and Celebration

Since Ambassadors are not identified as a group to the entire student population, each SSA program chooses how they will recognize Ambassadors and acknowledge their contributions.

See how the program makes an Impact.

 

"When we got into the training, we were surprised, because it wasn't the people you'd expect. It was the leaders from all the different groups and cliques..."

--Sneha Patel, Student, Perris High School, California

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