The SafeTEEN Coalition is a community outreach program committed to starting a cycle of safety in Cattaraugus and Allegany county schools. SafeTEEN uses a peer or cross-age tutoring scheme. Trained college students prepare high school students as mentors, who then teach valuable safety lessons to middle school and elementary school students. This model fosters an inclusive community between the participating students and allows for high school students to act as role models for younger students.
The majority of childhood injuries treated by hospitals are preventable. SafeTEEN emphasizes school-based injury prevention programs and promotes healthy lifestyle choices. Students learn about injury risk and prevention, while mentors gain valuable communication and leadership skills.
SafeTEEN begins by recruiting college students interested in aiding our community. These students share their knowledge with mentors and area students. By becoming a mentor, students become invested in their community and give back to the community that supported them. Topics range from anti-bullying campaigns to transportation safety. Depending on the needs of a school district, new topics can be created and individualized. SafeTEEN creates seminars covering multiple topics and in-depth presentations with one focus. All members of SafeTEEN receive a CPR certification.
Younger students retain more information when taught by older students from their school system. They see these older students as role models, whether it’s elementary school students or high school students. SafeTEEN creates an opportunity for students to come together and unite for a common goal: starting a cycle of safety in local schools.