Peer Power Partners expanding to Austin High School

Published 9:38 am Friday, September 18, 2015

Peer Power Partners mentoring program will expand to Austin High School this year and the district is kicking it off with a community presentation next month.

Brent Anderson, co-author of “Unintentional Humor: Celebrating the Literal Mind,” will conduct presentations and trainings for students and staff at I.J. Holton Intermediate School, Ellis Middle School and AHS on Oct. 19 and 20. In addition, Anderson will speak at a community presentation from 6:30 to 8 p.m. on Oct. 20 at the Hormel Historic Home as Peer Power Partners grows in its second year.



Peer Power Partners pairs youth with special needs and same-aged peers to promote friendships, understanding and advocacy. Started in 2013, Peer Power Partners directly served 150 students last year at I.J. Holton Intermediate and Ellis Middle Schools. This fall, Peer Power Partners will expand to Austin High School to include another 30 students for a total of 180 served this school year.

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A nationally known speaker, Anderson is an adult with Autism Spectrum Disorder. Together with educators, speech pathologists, and a talented cartoonist, he coauthored the entertaining “Unintentional Humor; Celebrating the Literal Mind” books. An entrepreneur, Anderson studied at Pikes Peak Community College and lives independently in Southern California.

Anderson’s presentation will explain the challenges of his “literal mind” with both humor and inspiration. Attendees can expect to gain understanding of communication challenges for individuals with disabilities, learn about the importance of visual teaching and discover the value of humor for improving health, social relationships and personal connections.

Copies of the “Unintentional Humor” books and products will be available for sale at discounted prices that evening. CEUs are available for the session. Questions about the community presentation can be directed to Holly Johnson at the Hormel Historic Home at 507-433-4243 or

Peer Power Partners is a collaborative of the Parenting Resource Center, Austin Public Schools and Vision 2020 Community Pride and Spirit, and is funded by the Hormel Foundation, Austin Public Education Foundation and private donations.