Safe School Ambassadors

The Safe School Ambassadors Program (SSA) is an evidence-based program that harnesses the power of socially influential students to prevent and stop bullying and mistreatment. Student leaders are carefully identified through student and staff surveys. They are selected based upon specific criteria, such as: strong position and influence in their peer group, good communication skills, and a history of standing up for friends. The recruited students participate in a two-day interactive training along with several adults who serve as program mentors. The training gives student Ambassadors the skills and tools to resolve conflicts, defuse incidents, and support isolated and excluded students. After the training, small group meetings of Ambassadors are held every few weeks. These meetings, led by the adult mentors, provide time for strengthening skills, support data collection and analysis of Ambassador interventions, and help sustain student and adult commitment to the program.

Participating Schools

Orange County several schools implementing this program:

Chester: 

  • Chester Free Academy 
  • Chester Middle School

Cornwall: 

  • Cornwall Central High School

Highland Falls Fort Montgomery: 

  • James I O'Neill High School

Middletown: 

  • Middletown High School
  • Monhagen Middle School 

Monroe-Woodbury: 

  • Monroe-Woodbury High School
  • Monroe-Woodbury Middle School


Newburgh: 

  • Heritage Middle School
  • Meadow Hill Global Explorations School
  • Newburgh Free Academy Main Campus
  • South Middle School
  • Temple Hill Academy

Pine Bush: 

  • Crispell Middle School
  • Pine Bush High School

Valley Central: 

  • Valley Central Middle School

Washingtonville: 

  • Washingtonville High School

Successes

The successes of this program are overwhelming! One local school reported having over 100 interventions for types of violence including exclusion, put-downs, bullying, physical violence, and campus violence. At another local school, ambassadors reported feeling very safe at their school as a result of this program and they also reported that the amount of bullying and fighting is much better than before the program was implemented. One of the Family Group Facilitators said, “the biggest change at the school since implementing Safe School Ambassadors is the feeling of tolerance when it comes to the differences among students.”

Additional Information

For information about bringing this great initiative into other schools in Orange County, and the possibility of assistance with start-up funds, please contact the Youth Bureau. For more general information, visit the Community Matters website