Peer-to-Peer & Advisor Earn State Awards


The Pine-Richland High School Peer-to-Peer Empowerment Team earned the Jefferson Awards Students in Action (SIA) Pennsylvania Gold Banner.


Jefferson Awards Foundation Regional Executive Director Jodi Klebick presented the Gold Banner to students on April 25, 2017 in the PRHS STEAM LGI Room.  To earn the award, Peer-to-Peer members successfully presented the organization’s goals and mission, as well as highlighted their 2016-2017 efforts to the foundation.

The Peer-to-Peer SIA Team’s ongoing goal has been to on promote a positive and inclusive environment for all students.  The 2016-2017 team chose to address a tough topic that many communities around the country are facing – teen suicide. The team concluded that breaking down social barriers and creating an overall better school environment is a great start to address the issue. Some of the projects that the team highlighted included details of a lollipop project where they decorated lockers with “lollipop moments” and details of the annual Color Run where they promoted togetherness across all groups, raising $3,500 to benefit the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention.

PRHS School Counselor Leslie Straub says, “The team accomplished their goals because they worked together the ‘peer to peer’ way.  The synergy of this group is incredible to be a part of.”

Peer-to-Peer previously earned a regional Gold Banner in 2015 for recruiting and building a culture of service as well as a regional Silver Banner in 2016 for raising dating violence awareness.  The team will go on to Washington, D.C. to compete for a National Gold Banner in June and will attend the National Ceremony where they will meet outstanding volunteers of service from across the nation.   

Additionally, their Sponsor Leslie Straub earned the Jefferson Awards Foundation 2017 Pittsburgh Students in Action Outstanding Faculty Advisor Award and has been nominated for the running of the National Award that will be announced at the National Ceremony they are attending as a team.

Mrs. Straub, who graduated from Texas Tech University with a dual bachelor's degree in English and Psychology, has been with PRHS since Fall 2009. Before becoming a school counselor, Straub taught secondary English in Texas, Ohio and Pittsburgh. However, after teaching for eight years, Straub felt that she could better help students as a counselor and earned her graduate degree in counseling psychology with a specialization in school counseling from Chatham University.