Penn Benjamins is an organization run by students, for students. We are Penn's first and only in-person peer counseling organization and were founded in the fall of 2014. We offer short-term, confidential peer listening and referral services to any member of the Penn undergraduate community.* Students can feel free to come to Benjamins and talk about anything; we are skilled at listening, reasoning through problems, referring to external resources on and off-campus, and validating problems that we, as college students, face all the time.
Benjamins was started by a group of students who recognize the power of peer-to-peer relationships. It is easy to feel overwhelmed at a place like Penn. Sometimes, you just need someone who knows what it's like to listen to you and help you sort things out; that's why Bens are students just like you. All of our Bens have been through an extensive interview and training process overseen by CAPS professionals,* which is to say they are really awesome listeners. Maybe you need to vent about a low score on a math exam. Maybe you are missing your friends from home. Maybe you're feeling like no one else is struggling like you are. Or maybe you just want to come by to chat and snag a free snack or cup of coffee. Whatever the reason, let's talk. Bens are here for you.
*Penn Benjamins peer counselors are not licensed professional counselors.
*Benjamins and CAPS work closely together; however, Benjamins is an independent student group.
"Having grown up in a small town in upstate New York, coming to Philly was definitely a change, yet one I'm so grateful I've had the opportunity to experience. Being the youngest of four, my siblings had a pretty big impact on my life as we grew up together. Though we collectively live almost 1500 miles apart now, my two sisters and brother continue to play a large role in person I am and hope to be." -Serena
"I’m the oldest of three in a family of five (nine, if I include my dogs) and the hardest thing about being at Penn is being separated from my family, friends, and community. Philly is wonderful and I’m grateful for my education here, but my home is back with my family in California surrounded by the smell of garlic (my town produces the most garlic in the United States) and green (okay, maybe they’re still brown) hills and fields." -Samantha