PEERS: Evaluation of an Undergraduate-Led Near-Peer Community Health Mentorship Program
Project Engagement Encouraging Rising Students (PEERS) was an undergraduate-run mentorship program that targeted grades 9-12 in high schools and organizations across Houston. The year-long program was conceived in 2018 by undergraduates and operated as an in-person program for the 2021-2022 school year. Utilizing a project-based-learning model, the program aimed to introduce underserved high school students to community health topics. PEERS is unique among other university mentorship programs by integrating the experience with a project-based learning structure. As part of the 2021-2022 PEERS program, students participated in reflective journaling as part of an internal program evaluation that evaluated the impact of PEERS on student fulfillment and growth in three primary areas of interest including personal goals, mentorship experience, and attitudes towards community health projects. Through a manual thematic analysis approach of mentee journal entries, the PEERS leadership team hopes to assess the programâ€™s impact and improve it in the future.