The THRIVE Center for Emerging Young Adults


Peer-Based Programs

Why Is A Peer-Based Program So Important?

Participants in Heron’s Gate have cited repeatedly the value of belonging to a peer community in helping them develop the drive, direction and skills foundational to an independent life.

Move Up seeks to set up close, collaborative relationships within the treatment community which enhance learning and growth in several ways:

  • Building a sense of safety and acceptance that encourages the young adults to take risks at growth
  • Modeling of healthy, goal-oriented behaviors by staff and peers
  • Close monitoring of the participants’ progress
  • Feedback to encourage new behaviors, enhancing the longer-term retention of learning
  • Building responsibility for the care and support of others and for the impact of one’s behaviors on others
  • Learning to hold oneself accountable for commitments to change

During young adulthood, peers help peers develop life skills, gain a stronger sense of self, grow through difficult developmental passages, and find meaning and purpose through connection to a larger community. Since admission to the program is on a rolling basis and participation may continue for several months, “newbies” have the chance to learn from participants who have experienced several program cycles. In turn, this experience of teaching newer members of the treatment community helps reinforce skills learned earlier and to provide a sense of confidence and leadership in the “elders” of the community.

The Move Up Team >>