ADA - Learning how to help people resolve conflicts and move on with their lives can be very rewarding, according to a group of volunteers who do just that.

Each year dozens of Oklahomans agree to give their time and energy to become a volunteer mediator through the Early Settlement Mediation Program. Garvin County is seeking additional volunteer mediators to assist with both community- and court-related disputes.  

 “Some of Early Settlement’s best mediators come from the Garvin County area,” Kathy King, the Early Settlement East Central program director says.  “We appreciate the investment local citizens make in their community by volunteering to mediate.  I’m hopeful more people will step forward to assist others find peaceful ways to resolve their conflicts.” 

A two-day training session for mediators is set for June 26-27th at East Central University in Ada. There is no cost for the training, and additional dates for training in Pauls Valley may be available.

“Applicants must commit to complete 20 hours of volunteering in exchange for the training,” King said, “but many volunteers continue with the program for many years. Our volunteers often report they find mediating a personally rewarding and life-changing experience.”

Frank Minkner, one of the Garvin area program volunteers, says investing in the lives of people in conflict is worth the time and effort.  “Seeing people resolve their issues, mend relationships and move beyond bitterness is very satisfying,” he said. “It amazes me how effective the process can be.”                

Mediation is a powerful tool for resolving disputes, King pointed out.  “When people are given the opportunity to listen to each other in a non-judgmental atmosphere, they are capable of resolving their own conflict,” she said. “And the outcome will be something that satisfies everyone’s needs.” 

The Early Settlement program is part of the Oklahoma Dispute Resolution System. The East Central Program serves Garvin County and eight additional counties in east central Oklahoma. It is located at East Central University in Ada, in the Center of Continuing Education and Community Services.

Persons interested in the training should contact the Early Settlement office at 580-559-5674, or email King at early.settlement@yahoo.com. For more information about the Early Settlement Mediation Program visit www.earlysettlement.net.


For Immediate Release: 

Thursday, June 12, 2014
Contact: Brian Johnson or Amy Ford
East Central University Communications and Marketing
580-559-5650 or 405-812-1428 (cell)