peerforward team


(Harlan, Ky.) –

Capturing the power of student influence, Harlan High School hosted schools from across the region to usher in a new cohort of peer leaders through the PeerForward program installed during the 2022-2023 school year.

High School Students from Buckhorn, Cordia, and Letcher joined Harlan High students on Wednesday to receive coaching and training on leadership initiatives designed to mobilize students as agents of change and influence within their schools.

PeerForward works with schools to identify teams of student leaders made up of four 12th graders and four 11th graders who have been tagged as influential by their peers. This team of eight students and school advisors receives specialized coaching that enables them to lead and execute three powerful campaigns designed to help get their peers to college. 

 In an effort to build on the strong college-going culture, Harlan High continues to seek ways to provide students with valuable resources to ensure post-secondary readiness and success. 

 This student-driven model helps build capacity and fills voids within each school while empowering students to lead life-changing initiatives. 

Peer Forward Team

Senior team members Jayden Ward, Jaedyn Gist, Mia Pace, and Abigail Wynn were trained this summer at Nazareth College in Rochester, NY to implement the PeerForward program at Harlan High School. Current Juniors Kyler McClendon, Trenton Childers, Chloe Swenke, and Jolena Nguyn will complete the eight-member team. High School Guidance Counselor Cristal Pace serves as the school advisor for PeerForward.

“Every parent knows the power of positive friendships, the PeerForward model gives schools and students a framework to capitalize on the power of that influence to help drive students in the right direction. We are excited to elevate our students and give them this opportunity to drive the culture of their school.” stated Cristal Pace.  

To learn more about PeerForward visit