Miguel Sierra, family peer specialist, greets the parents of his students with donuts and a warm smile. Mr. Sierra has been working for the School District of Philadelphia for the past four years and started this year off at Tilden Middle School as a Family Peer Specialist. In 2017, the school district hired over 20 social workers to have at certain elementary, middle, and high schools. Students of all ages can experience trauma that can interfere with school work. Family Peer Specialists act as a support system for students and their families. They work to build trusting relationships with the families, the students, and help navigate involvement in social support systems.
Mr. Sierra says the most rewarding thing about his job is “making a difference in someone’s life- whether it is something as small as providing support to them or providing them with the necessary resources they need in order to improve their life”. He works to put a smile on everyone’s face. He was inspired by an old boss at his old job, who handed out donuts at drop offs and pickups. Mr. Sierra is new to Tilden Middle School this year and wanted to make a good impression on the families while also getting the chance to introduce himself and offer resources. He plans to hold raffles in the future and hand out gift cards as well. He hopes that local businesses will donate in order to help families that are struggling right now.