sl_peaceconference2The St. Louis Job Corps Center students and staff held a day-long Peace Conference on Sept. 20, including five different seminars. The seminars were designed to assist students and staff to further develop their interpersonal skills when it comes to dealing with people of different cultures, situations in the workplace and people in their home communities.

How to Handle Bullying Situations: Karina Crouch, Multicultural Coordinator for MPACT in St. Louis City, gave a training that focused on the types of bullying, what makes a bully and how to handle a bullying situation. The seminar involved lively discussion and role play. Ms. Crouch thanked the students for allowing her to deliver the presentation and said that MPACT looks forward to collaborating with the Center again in the future.

How to Mediate Conflicts Between Neighbors: Angela Newsom from Community Mediation Services of St. Louis explained how to mediate between two parties in conflict. She was so impressed with the students that she asked if she could continue to train them to work with her in mediating disputes between youth in local schools and neighborhoods.

Taking Time to Pause for Inspiration: Robert White and Mary Lenihan from Pause for Inspiration delivered a presentation on how someone can take time to pause before they react.   Mr. White and Ms. Lenihan discussed the concept that like any professional athlete, a person needs to practice their responses to situations in order to get good at them.  “You only have a fraction of a second to make the decision on how to respond. By practicing how you should respond you are more likely to choose that response,” they said. Both look forward to working with our students to develop a Job Corps-specific “Pause for Inspiration” response card that can be used on-Center and across all Job Corps Centers nationwide.

Beneath the Surface-Understanding Empathy: The Center’s Manager of Academics Terri Pruitt provided an activity that allowed students a chance to express their understanding of the difference between empathy and sympathy. Students gave examples from their own lives on how it felt when someone truly understood them and how they felt. They also explained times when they felt empathy for others. The seminar encouraged them to practice their empathetic skills on one another.

Creating a Win-Win Situation:  Candace Calhoun had an exciting time working with students and teaching them how to create Win-Win situations.  Not all of life is an “I win, you lose” situation, she explained. Everyone can move ahead when they work together to figure out how everyone can move forward. “Sometimes you move farther. Other times they move farther. But in the end, both parties are moving ahead and winning,” Ms. Calhoun said.