As a middle school student, the looming presence of 4 years of high school is threatening and scary: all the tall upperclassmen plowing through the hall, strenuous classes and long nights, the weight of new responsibilities and pressures. However, this frightening image no longer holds among the incoming freshmen. Thanks to Link Crew, high school can become a more welcoming place, rather than one notorious for generating stress and dread.
On August 8th, the freshmen class gathered before high school orientation to participate in some fun activities, which were organized by Link Crew. This was designed to ease the pressure of high school and present them with a positive outlook of their future at LCHS.
Freshman Natalie Godinez, who participated in this meeting, commented, “It was nice to meet new people I would otherwise not have talked to.”
And that is the goal for all the Link Crew members: make La Canada High School a better place. In the words of Daniel Yoder, history teacher and one of the advisors for Link Crew, its mission is to “make everyone’s club more successful and everyone’s experience at La Canada more positive.”
Studies show that this process and experience prevents bullying in high school and generates a safe environment.
Sarah Beattie, another history teacher and administrator of Link Crew, witnessed the “small interactions between upperclassmen and freshmen” which gives them the “ability to turn to that person [and] feel a lot more included on campus.”
“We can learn a lot from each other, and we should be a place where we support each other, regardless of grade,” Ms. Beattie said.
Not only does this program affect the recipients of its mission, it also benefits the Link Crew leaders themselves. They feel empowered by giving guidance to kids and providing them with opportunities that they never had.
A Junior Link Crew leader, Jordan Young (11), said, “ I really enjoy helping out younger kids because it allows me to pass on knowledge I have gained and share my experiences to help them be more informed and comfortable with their situations.”
Though the program is about adapting freshmen to high school life, La Canada High School has tailored it to a broader scope this year, ranging from freshmen to seniors. It is about having fun and enhancing the academic and social experience. Ms. Beattie commented that they are also “trying to bring more awareness to school wide events and create school spirit amongst the whole school.”
With the pressures of high school, the importance of communication, a sense of security, and sources of counsel are key to success. It is imperative to make the freshmen, and every other student at the school, feel like they are cared for and are not abandoned in the dust in this whirlwind of new responsibilities. Together, La Canada can be a safe haven, instrumental in personal and community growth that will pave the path to a promising future and a memorable past.