West Monroe Link Crew to Benefit Freshmen
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Students at a local high school are in training to help younger pupils adjust to new surroundings.
The Link Crew is a campus ambassador group that reaches out to incoming freshmen. The association of students and teachers at West Monroe High School are working together to help younger teens ease transition anxiety from middle school to high school.
The group of teens is getting to know one another in an exercise organizers call ‘team building.’
About 100 students are taking instruction from a group of teachers on how best to welcome incoming freshmen.
Older Students Helping Younger Ones
|West Monroe High School's Link Crew|
Mary-Allison Mitchell will be in grade twelve in the fall. She says she benefitted from the help offered by a previous generation of Link Crew. Mary-Allison plans to return the favor.
“I remember my first day. I was so stressed out I didn’t know how to handle this. You come from Westridge, Good Hope or Riser and this is just like that on steroids. You have no idea how to handle this, you know? But with Link Crew, you just so much better perspective from the inside view from kids who’ve been doing it for three years, you know?”
Mandy Green is the Freshman Academy Director at West Monroe High School. She says that ninth-graders benefit greatly from the lessons older students have learned.
“For that upper-classman to share some of his or her experiences with that incoming ninth-grader – and to tell them some things that maybe they did great, or maybe some things that they wish they could go back and do again is priceless.”
Around 1900 students attend West Monroe High School. Green says that can be a source of anxiety for freshmen.
“The intimidation factor of coming from a smaller middle school, where you have about 200 eighth graders that you’re classmates with, to coming to a school where there are 600 ninth-graders – they are very intimidated.”
Focus on Diversity
West Monroe High’s Link Crew takes into account how different students are from one another.
Connie Barnes teaches geometry at West Monroe High and helps direct Link Crew. She says the group’s student membership was selected in part because of its dissimilarities.
“Just a diverse group of students with various interests. Some are in music, some are in band, some are very athletic. Some are very academic. And so, as a result of that, we want for our incoming freshmen to see someone and say, ‘oh, look. I’m like them.’”
Beau Gilmore will offer his services as a student Link Crew Member in the fall.
He says that he is well suited to the task.
“I think my personality is great. I can pretty much talk to anyone and help them with anything they want. So I hope than any upcoming freshman is comfortable to come to me with anything with school, grades, anything like that. I hope that that’ll help them be able to have someone to come to if they need help in high school, and they don’t feel comfortable talking to a teacher or something like that.”
Mary-Allison Mitchell also plans to do her part in the Link Crew to offer a haven for a wide-variety of nervous ninth-graders.
“It’s important to present a united front, so that they know that we may not all be from the same circle of friends but we’re all one group. And we’ll come together to show them around, and show them that high school is full of so many different walks of life, but it can be an awesome experience.”
As for the freshmen, many of them have already had a tour of West Monroe High School.
Hundreds of them are expected back for one further orientation in August, as they prepare to integrate into their new surroundings.
Air Date: Thu, 05/17/2012