Upperclassmen Help "Link" Freshmen to BHS
By Alyssa Murral
The first day of school is difficult for everyone, even more so for those who are at a new building.
Wouldn’t it help to have someone to guide you and answer your questions not only on the first day, but through the whole year? Brunswick High School’s freshman have the privilege to meet and connect with welcoming upperclassman through a transition program called LINK Crew.
Sarah Lynn, Biology teacher at BHS and LINK Crew Coordinator, says, “The participants in LINK Crew help make the incoming freshman class feel comfortable at the high school, and help guide them during their first year at BHS.”
She says LINK Leaders can greet freshman in the hallways, help them with schedules, and keep them informed about what the high school has to offer for students.
BHS Junior and LINK Leader, Sophie Parente, says, “This year I am going to do my best to make my LINK group the most comfortable they possibly can be in the high school by sending them frequent texts to check up on them and every month, I plan on bringing them a surprise to make their day a little bit better, and to promote different school activities that might be going on during that month!”
Leaders also act as mentors for their groups, answering questions and giving advice. Natalie Pryatel, also a junior and LINK Leader, says, “It can be really scary going into a new place you are not familiar with and I understand that so I wanted to help in every way possible.”
A large amount of the energy in LINK Crew is dedicated to freshman, but participants also help to organize other activities at the high school such as Mr. Blue Devil, Freshman Tailgate, LINK for Others, Cookie Cram, May Day, and the Student and Faculty basketball game.
Parente says, “I am looking forward to hosting Freshman Tailgate in just a few weeks, Homecoming, the Cookie Cram, and many other activities that are yet to come!” Lynn says these annual events are planned collaboratively between student leaders and teachers.
If a junior or senior wants to be a part of helping freshman and planning events, they first have to fill out a LINK Leader application in March, which will be reviewed and approved by a team of teachers. Once approved, LINK Leaders are trained by teacher coordinators the Tuesday before Freshman Orientation.
“It is a one-day training, but we continue to meet with leaders all year long,” tells Lynn. It is a great leadership opportunity and helps to develop character and self-esteem, according to Lynn.
LINK Crew is also an important part of the high school because it helps students succeed and creates a sense of community. “The students in LINK Crew are very diverse, and don’t fit a certain ‘mold’ of students. We are looking for motivated and passionate leaders,” she says, “If a student is interested in making real connections with other students and being a leader, I would recommend that they apply for LINK.”
Pryatel states that she is grateful to be a LINK Leader and to have the opportunity to make a difference in her group’s lives. “LINK promotes a positive attitude from the upperclassmen that way the underclassmen know they have someone to look up to whenever they need something,” says Parente.
Both juniors say they would encourage other students to join LINK Crew if they are interested in making meaningful connections.