Intro to Conflict Resolution for Teens


Conflict is a part of life, especially these days, but it is never insurmountable and can even be healthy…if handled correctly.  

Introduction to Conflict Resolution for Teens is an interactive program that teaches student-leaders communication and conflict resolution theories and skills necessary to work through conflicts they may encounter as a member of any community they are a part of…including the global community.    


Our program will benefit any high school student looking to improve their communications skills, boost their confidence, and learn problem-solving skills.  It is especially beneficial for students interested in pursuing studies/careers in communications, conflict resolution, law, business management, operations management, sales, or human resources.


This course is held virtually, exclusively on


There are multiple sections of this course.  Please click here for a complete listing of meeting times.


Week 1 – “Setting the Table” – An essential part of the conflict resolution process is creating an environment where participants can be comfortable and communicate openly. 

Week 2 – “Understanding Conflict” – Participants will learn the different types of conflict and the spectrum in which they exist.    

Week 3 – “Introducing Mediation” – Students will learn about mediation, its history, and its structure.

Week 4 – “Role of a Mediator” – What does a mediator do?  We will find out in this lesson.  

Week 5 – “Listening for Cues & Clues” – A big part of resolving conflict is listening.  We’ll take a deep dive into the idea of “active listening” in furtherance of understanding the underlying problem.

Week 6 – “Mediation at Work” – During this session, students will be involved in dissecting a case study involving an actual video-recorded mediation.  

Week 7 – “Identifying Obstacles & Impasse” – Not all mediations proceed from in a straight line.  Therefore, overcoming obstacles and addressing impasse is a real part of the mediation process.  

Week 8 – “Confidentially Speaking ” – Ethics, understanding bias, and respecting confidentially are all integral elements of the mediation process.  Today we will discuss the role these concepts play in conflict resolution.   


This course is taught by Matthew DeSantis, a New Jersey Courts Rule 1:40-trained mediator, conflict resolution specialist, and trainer.  As a member of the New Jersey Judiciary’s Complementary Dispute Resolution Program and a professional mediator, he has spent well over 10,000 hours in his career helping individuals and institutions resolve countless disputes.  As the founder of the Teen Thin Tank Project, he has spent 3000 hours working with high school students to develop the problem-solving skills necessary to succeed as student leaders and teen change agents.


The course meets weekly in a small group setting in an attempt to allow each student to get the maximum benefit from their time within the meeting.  Matt will utilize a conversational teaching style that relies on a slightly modified version of the Socratic Method to help guide students while simultaneously challenging them to develop their critical thinking skills.  


This course does not require any prerequisites or advanced knowledge.


Students will learn to utilize mediation techniques that allow them to a) develop more effective communication skills while facilitating an environment that provides a safe and healthy community in which students can b) develop effective conflict resolution strategies that can be utilized within the school and beyond.  

Specifically, students will learn 1) identify conflict, 2) utilize mediation techniques to solve everyday problems, 3) develop active listening skills, 4) identify and overcome impasse, and 5) respect the ethical considerations that come along with conflict resolution.  


Students can expect approximately 0-1 hour of homework or prep work before each meeting.   


Each participant will receive a Letter of Recognition documenting their participation in the course, as well as a Certificate of Completion.


This program is a leadership workshop.  It is open to all high school students.  Unlike our Change Agent Academy, there is no application or acceptance process.  You simply need to choose a section that corresponds with your schedule and enroll. 

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