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Blog: Cultivating a new approach in St. Louis

Blog: Cultivating a new approach in St. Louis

Published: April 17, 2014
Darius Hunt, Peer Mediator, St. Louis

Darius Hunt works with AFSC's Peer Mediation program in St. Louis.

Photo: AFSC

My name is Darius Hunt. For the last year I’ve been a Peer Mediator with AFSC’s Peer Mediation Program at Northwest Academy of Law in St. Louis.

At Peer Mediation, our goal is to decrease violence in our school. We preach to the younger generation that what they do has an impact on others. We help them come to an agreement when there’s been a conflict.

One mediation that stands out was when I was mediating two freshmen about why they fought. These boys had been friends since middle school.

It all started when both of them started to hear rumors about what the other had been saying. They met each other in the hallway. The crowd hyped them up, and that was what made them fight.

The key thing in this situation was that both of them regretted that they fought each other. Through Peer Mediation, they were able to listen to each other instead of the rumors people were spreading.

I’ve learned leadership and how to listen to both sides.  I’ve also learned empathy -- how to look at another person’s point of view and put yourself in their shoes. I’ve learned team work. You can’t do this work by yourself.

There’s still a lot of conflict and fights going on at the school, but we’ve started something that we hope will grow and change the culture and peoples’ attitudes.

Peer Mediation has made me want to assume a leadership position at the college I will be attending. Then I want to start a community organization when I leave college.