Discovery’s peer leadership program is designed to give students the tools they will need for workplace success while they are still at the ranch. Students develop their communication and relationship skills in an atmosphere that supports and encourages the learning process.
Ranch responsibilities are divided into two categories – house chores and ranch chores. Students are invited to “apply” for management positions to organize and supervise the work. Depending on the category, the “job” may include supervising bottle preparation for calves, laundry, or similar tasks. As part of their application process, students must “interview” with residential supervisors and the equine manager. If they are “hired,” they meet weekly with mentors for special leadership training.
Peer leadership is process oriented. While the students are responsible for making sure the work is done, the staff focus is entirely on the student – not the task. They use the program to build relationships with students, to talk about where the student might be struggling and how they might improve. Staff help the student see the needs, identify and organize resources, implement a strategy and evaluate its effectiveness.
For their part, peer leaders must delegate assignments, follow-up with peers and report their progress to mentors. They quickly learn effective leadership is more than hiring your best friends or ordering people around. They learn the importance of people skills. Equally important, they learn sometimes responsibilities (like feeding hungry calves) cannot be neglected or postponed.
Perhaps the best benefit of this program is the confidence students develop in their ability to do a job well. Their self-esteem increases as they successfully learn to manage people and responsibilities.
We invite you to get to know us better by exploring our website, or, if you prefer, calling our admissions department at (801) 489-3311.