Breakthrough students got some hands-on training in conflict resolution during a half-day session led by Ellie Dendahl, program coordinator for Santa Fe’s School Mediation Program. On February 24th, seven students from DeVargas, Capshaw, Alameda and Santa Fe High Schools participated in conflict simulations and group work to learn how to deal with conflict, including alternatives to fighting and how to deal with bullies. According to Dendahl, “This training can help students learn how to respond rather than react to conflict. Learning and practiciting conflict resolution skills can also help students to help others constructively handle their conflicts.” Since the beginning of the semestesr, Dendahl has been meeting with Breakthrough students during the after-school program at the College of Santa Fe to discuss conflict mediation.
Michael Multari, Breakthrough Santa Fe director, feels this training gives Breakthrough students the opportunity to learn better ways of handling conflict. It also instills self-confidence and builds leadership skills. “Breakthrough students are leaders in their community, and I want them to realize that there are alternatives to fighting,” he said.