School Counseling

NPSSOC8CORA’s school counselors support the healthy growth and development of children and adolescents in their homes, schools, and communities. Utilizing a short-term, high-impact service model, counselors work with students experiencing school-related problems or difficulties that are situational or developmental in nature. Additionally, counselors meet with larger groups of students to proactively address topics such as social skills, community building, stress management, drug and alcohol abuse prevention, and internet safety/cyberbullying.


  • Needs assessments and service plan development
  • Short-term individual and family counseling
  • Referrals for additional services through CORA or outside providers
  • Short-term counseling support groups for targeted issues
  • Crisis intervention for individuals, groups or school communities
  • Large group guidance lessons on age-appropriate topics
  • Consultations with educators and parents/guardians
  • Peer Helpers program for middle school leaders
  • Team model approach to service delivery


Students in grades K-12 in contracted schools. Students may be referred by a teacher, administrator, educational specialist, parent/guardian or by self-referral.

Access Service

  • Philadelphia non-public schools may request CORA as their service provider through the School District of Philadelphia Intermediate Unit’s annual contract process. Contact CORA to discuss benefits to your school.
  • Public school districts and charter schools may contact CORA to develop a partnership.

Peer Helper Program

For more than 25 years, CORA’s school counselors have run Peer Helper Programs. Currently, there are six local elementary schools participating – St. Anselm, Blessed Trinity, Holy Innocents, St. Martha, St. Matthew and St. Christopher. The counselors train selected 8th graders in leadership and emphasize the importance of making a difference by giving back in their schools through mentoring and tutoring younger students. CORA’s school counselors provide anti-bullying programs in more than 50 non-public schools in Philadelphia each year.

Peer Helpers

2018 Peer Helper Leadership Conference

CORA Peer Helpers Class of 2019

CORA Counselors

On Thursday, October 18, 2018, CORA hosted its annual Peer Helper Conference titled, “Be an Upstander: Peer Helpers Lead the Way”, which took place during Bullying Prevention Month. Christa Tinari, MA, a passionate and inspiring professional speaker, educator and trainer, brought her expertise in Bullying Prevention and Social-Emotional Learning to train our students to be caring leaders. Christa taught practical skills that students can use to be upstanders among their peers at their respective schools. Many of these lessons can also be found in her recently published book, Create a Culture of Kindness in Middle School: 48 Character-Building Lessons to Foster Respect and Prevent Bullying, by Christa Tinari and Naomi Drew. Watch a free webinar from Christa Tinari, here. 

Gianna and Patty welcomed the students

Gianna Galanti, a freshman at Archbishop Ryan High School and former 8th grade Peer Helper, gave a warm welcome to the students in the CORA Conference Center. She spoke from the heart about transitioning from grade school to high school, and how the Peer Helper program positively influenced her experience by preparing her well to be a compassionate leader. Gianna won the CORA Peer Helper Award and Scholarship at her graduation from St. Anselm’s Elementary School in June 2018.

CORA’s School Counseling Program Coordinator, Patty Faix, enthusiastically shared her comments. “This year’s conference provided our Peer Helpers with the opportunity to learn strategies they can utilize to create communities of kindness as well as to help them build respectful and compassionate school environments. The students have begun to develop plans of action based on what they learned, and their counselors and I are excited to see their ideas unfold in the coming months!”


2017 Peer Helper Leadership Conference

Dan, 8th grade peer helper, helps a younger student

CORA Counselors from six local Catholic Elementary Schools, bring their 8th grade peer helpers to CORA on Verree Road for a day of training. Students and staff learn how to be comfortable in a new environment and welcome others into a group. In October 2017, CORA was excited to host the Peer Helper Graduate and Honoree – Dan Goldstein. Dan is a graduate of St. Martha’s, currently attending Father Judge High School, and the first student to receive the CORA Peer Helper Scholarship. His counselor, Rebecca Holtz, was impressed with his maturity from 8th grade to 9th grade. He spoke confidently to the students about taking risks to try to new clubs and meet new people. See photos from the conference here.

Rebecca Holtz , CORA Counselor and Dan Goldstein, 1st Peer Helper Scholarship Honoree

2016 Peer Helper Leadership Conference

On Wednesday, October 19, 2016 a group of 80 eighth graders, from six local elementary schools, gathered in CORA’s conference room for a program called “Together We Can Make a Difference.” Jack Chambers, of Creative Educational Concepts, led the students through a series of games and activities designed to stimulate conversation, build relationships and welcome the students to CORA’s Peer Helpers Program. See photos from the conference here.

CORA Peer Helper Scholarship

Peer Helper Scholarship

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