Making a LINK with Freshmen


Link Crew leaders play team-building games with Freshmen.

Mrs. Clifton

Mrs. Clifton, Adviser

Arren Richter had to start in a new school – twice. Alexis Burn called her freshman year scary and Gabe Carre called his first year of high school just plain hard. These incoming seniors are members of the LINK Crew and they are working to make sure this year’s freshmen don’t go through what they did.

“I wanted to make sure they start off well here,” said Richter.

The program is called Freshman Jumpstart and it offers freshman a link to seniors who can provide guidance, advice or just someone to talk to about the transition from middle school to high school. Freshmen will also choose from two virtual school classes and complete the class by the time the three-week program ends. Taking a virtual class is a graduation requirement.

LINK crew is run by Mrs. Sheridan and Mr. Ramos with help this year from Coach T. About 35 incoming seniors are taking part in the program offered to about 130 freshmen.  It runs Monday through Thursday from 8 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. These same LINK Crew members will organize and run Freshman Orientation in August for all incoming freshmen.

“They are giving up their summer and volunteering to make connections and guarantee success,” said Sheridan. “I’m really proud of them.”

LINK Crew members will continue the program through a year-long class called Research 3 where they will work with AVID classes, providing support to freshmen teachers and students.

“They’re making a year-long connection,” said Sheridan. “It’s not just orientation and done, these same students will be in the freshmen classrooms too.”

On the first day of Jumpstart, senior LINK Crew members broke into groups with freshmen, playing team-building games in the Media Center, giving quick campus tours and answering questions about what to expect from high school.

Senior Naveed Zaerzadeh was honest about the mistakes he made his freshmen year.

“I let my grades drop and I was hanging out with my friends too much,” he said.

Other seniors remember how LINK Crew made an impact on them.

“I was helped by LINK Crew my freshman year,” said senior Leeah Heiferman. “I wanted to give back.”

Several seniors told their freshman-year stories, revealing that they had few friends or were completely overwhelmed with classes.

“I don’t want that for them,” said Carre. “I want them to know that if they need help, they should ask.”