Peer2Peer is a program to prepare for the labor market that, through a dynamic pair between a university student and a disabled person looking for work, also aims to provide an experience of encounter between two different realities.
Through this program, both participants benefit from the opportunity to get to know a world different from their own and learn how to navigate it, overcoming the fear of the unknown and being surprised by each other's (often unexpected) abilities.
Peer2Peer also helps to raise the awareness of the younger generation - the future leaders - of the need to create a more inclusive community by training them on the importance and added value of including people with disabilities in the labor market. This program also offers university students the opportunity to come into contact with the reality of disability and break down possible misconceptions about it.
The program runs for eleven weeks, with weekly sessions consisting of workshops and One2One sessions, in which pairs work together on topics such as identifying their own abilities, interests and personal goals, getting to know the labor market, developing tools - such as the Curriculum Vitae (CV), or the Capability Profile (PC) - and preparing and simulating job interviews with recruitment and selection companies. At the same time, throughout the program, peers develop friendships with each other, which leads to a very positive sense of belonging and group spirit.
The Peer2Peer pilot project was developed by the ICF in 2018, under the theme of employability, and was aimed at Nova SBE students and people with disabilities from the Municipality of Cascais, who wanted to prepare themselves to apply for the job market. After the success of the 1st edition (pilot), two students participating in the pilot were invited by the ICF to coordinate the development of the 2nd edition of Peer2Peer at Nova SBE, together with the Careers team.
The expansion of Peer2Peer
In 2021, the expansion of Peer2Peer to new Faculties began.
After two successful editions at Nova SBE, the ICF wanted to lead this project to more people with disabilities and more college students. To do so, the ICF thought of a structure that would allow the project to grow and become sustainable: the creation of a National Coordination team, with the mission to scale Peer2Peer to new colleges; and different teams of Project Managers (one team per college), who coordinate the development of the local editions and report directly to the National Coordinators.
Thus, in 2022, besides Nova SBE, Peer2Peer was for the first time implemented at Nova School of Law, Nova Medical School and at the Faculty of Psychology of the University of Lisbon. This expansion was achieved thanks to the excellent coordination of Conceição Castro e Almeida and Francisco Lamy, National Peer2Peer Coordinators in 2022.
In 2023, Peer2Peer expanded to Porto. In addition to Nova SBE, Nova School of Law and Nova Medical School, the Faculty of Letters from the University of Porto joined the project, under the National Coordination of Luísa Azancot and Miguel Leal.
With the goal of impacting the lives of increasingly more young people - with and without disabilities - Peer2Peer seeks to grow every year to new Faculties.
If you want to know more about how you can participate in the program or how to take it to a new college, please contact the Peer2Peer coordination through firstname.lastname@example.org.