peer Leadership program


Start Strong values the voices of young people in the fight to end dating violence and promote healthy relationships. As a result, we hire and train Peer Leaders to help spread positive relationship messages and to build skills associated with creating and maintaining healthy relationships. Start Strong Peer Leaders are high school students (ages 15 and up) that work year-long with Start Strong.

During the summer, Start Strong Peer Leaders attend a six-week intensive training to become young experts in the field of violence prevention and healthy relationship promotion. Their curriculum involves (but is not limited to):

  • Teen Dating Violence Prevention Work

  • Healthy Relationship Promotion Work

  • Media Literacy 

  • Understanding Gender and Race and Systems of Oppression

  • Healthy Breakups

  • Trauma

After the summer, Peer Leaders conduct trainings at local programs/agencies to educate youth (ages 11 and up) and adult participants on prevention and promotion work. They are also involved in large-scale media campaigns to discuss the importance of healthy relationships.

Below are essays that past Peer Leaders have written to describe their experiences and journeys with Start Strong. Read their stories below:

If you or a young person you know (who is age 15 and up) would like to become a Start Strong Peer Leader, please contact us at We hire twice a year: during the spring before summer vacation and in the fall at the beginning of the academic school year.