Mediation Center Offers Teens New Skills,Service Learning Opportunity

Mid Shore Community Mediation Center is recruiting teens from Caroline, Dorchester and Talbot counties who would like to learn a valuable skill and earn service learning hours at the same time.

High school freshmen and sophomores are invited to attend a Mediator Orientation on Monday, September 21, at 6:00 p.m. at theMediation Center on Talbot Street in Easton. Adults interested in learning more about becoming trained mediators are also welcome.

Teen mediation is a growing specialty for Mid Shore Mediation. In both teen-teen and parent-teen mediations, a teen mediator participates along with an adult volunteer to ensure that all parties are comfortable that their concerns are being heard.

While adult mediators can volunteer year after year and participate in a wide range of mediation areas, the age-limited nature of teen mediations means that new volunteers are regularly needed to replace the students who grow out of their teen-mediator roles. Students may continue on as adult mediators within the organization.

Cynthia Jurrius, the Center’s Teen Mediation Coordinator, is quick to note that the skills acquired in conflict resolution are lifelong assets. “Our student mediators receive the same training as adults in the conflict resolution process,” she said. “These skills are valuable to potential employers and make a great addition to any resume or college application.”

The Center will offer its next teen mediation training beginning November 7. It involves 45 hours of training sessions, held over three consecutive weekends. Students earn service learning hours for both the training and for any subsequent mediations in which they participate.

“While it is an intensive training process to learn to become a mediator,” said Jurrius, “mediation is never boring and is a very worthwhile service to the community.” Common conflicts encountered in parent-teen mediations include disputes over curfews, rules and driving.

Mid Shore Mediation currently has about ten active trained teen mediators. Students are encouraged to attend the no-obligation orientation session if interested in this training opportunity.

For more information on mediation, to make a contribution, or to register for the orientation, call Mid Shore Community Mediation Center at 410-820-5553 or visit www.midshoremediation.org.

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