Teens Lifting Teens

Teens Lifting Teens (TLT)

The Teens Lifting Teens program will provide funding to teen councils to empower them to make a difference in their communities. This funding will provide service learning and near-peer mentoring opportunities as well as outreach events. Our hope is to reduce risk factors in youth by giving them these opportunities to serve in their community and learn new skills to teach to other youth. 

Near-Peer Mentoring

A near-peer mentoring relationship may be defined as one in which a more senior learner (a year or more above) provides guidance and support to a new junior learner to enable the new student to navigate his or her learning experience. 
  • Near-peer mentoring targets students’ social identities, helping them develop a sense of belonging (Inzlilcht et al.2006) by connecting to role models (Stout et al. 2013) from similar groups.
  • Moreover, such role models help alleviate negative stereotypes, because students are able to see that others “like them” can be successful in their field.
  • Beyond role models, developing friendships with peers increases the academic performance of underrepresented students who face uncertainty about belonging in a group (Walton and Cohen 2007).

Service Learning

Service learning is a form of experiential education where learning occurs through a cycle of action and reflection as students…seek to achieve real objectives for the community and deeper understanding and skills for themselves. In the process, students link personal and social development with academic and cognitive development… experience enhances understanding; understanding leads to more effective action.

Jane Eyler, Vanderbilt University


The TLT program will use Design Teams, TRY Teams and outreach events to coordinate service learning and near-peer mentoring opportunities. Design Teams and TRY teams have been used in other 4-H programs and have proven a successful and efficient way to engage youth. 

  • Design Teams- Design Team Trainings are for youth interested in putting on community or youth events at the local, county, and state level. Come learn leadership skills of designing, planning, and executing amazing events.
  • TRY Teams- TRY stands for Teens Reaching Youth. Teens come together from across Utah to learn leadership skills and strategies to be a good teacher. In addition, they will receive a project related curriculum and receive hands-on interactive lessons about that curriculum. Teens then return home to their own counties and teach what they have learned to younger youth and peers.



Contact: Megan Hall, TLT Program Director | megan.o.hall@usu.edu | (801) 708-2331