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How we engage all students to lead depends on the leadership we provide. Learning from ourselves and looking to support students in their leadership opportunities is critical. The following testimonials share how valuable the work is, and how effective Peers not Fears is in developing and implementing the work.

Donna Furlong, M.Ed.
Upper Elementary Principal, Grades 3-5
Hillsboro-Deering Elementary School

We hired Lorraine to work with our paraprofessional staff. We wanted to present them with something current, relevant, and thought-provoking. Mission accomplished.  Lorraine’s topics of discussion helped build our team of educators into a team of learners where trust was developed, vulnerability showed, and our teachers walked away stronger for it. And the best part is that when they signed off from the PD, it didn’t end there. All of the topics are relevant enough so that they still come back around everyday and have us reflecting differently on how we see the world and each other.

Sara P.

High School Educator

Lorraine Connell finds and cultivates the leadership potential in some of the most traditionally overlooked students: the shy kids, the class clowns, and everyone in between.  She encourages her students to cast away their labels and empowers them to embrace their differences.  She creates positive change by leading through example.  It is truly inspiring.

Lauren Z.

2018 Student Graduate

Lorraine Connell is a teacher even outside of school, it is not just her job title or career choice, it truly is her lifestyle.

Christina S.

Program Director

Lorraine strives for positive change and for the betterment of our program and for our students, by encouraging student leaders to make frequent visits to the Alternative Program and integrating students from the main campus with the alternative students.  Through her actions, our students have made positive strides both academically and personally.

Jen M.
High School Educator

We, as educators, are mostly in this profession because of our love of children. Teachers can become jaded because of what they are faced with daily.  After a long time, those difficulties layer up, like an onion.


This class helped remove those layers and got to the root of why we are here for our students and a great reminder of being there for them.

We discussed topics where we were all vulnerable and not judged. 

Shanti Scott

International Youth Facilitator

Lorraine is an excellent writer who offers powerful insight to the challenges in education today.  She weaves in historical components, debunking narratives and challenges racial ideology.  Plus being vulnerable to share her own reflections, she models the importance of authenticity to the relevance of what's happening today.  All in a short simple read.

Zachary Porter

Executive Director

Kingswood Youth Center  

"Lorraine's programs get our participants excited about sharing, learning, thinking critically, and working as a team. 

 Teens demonstrate leadership, explore their identities, and are challenged to think differently."

Courtney Perron


Center for New Americans

Peers not Fears is so important to our program, that we planned our budget around it!
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