September 22, 2017

Link crew is valuable to guide incoming freshmen

Academic Support Counselor Keshia Fields (left) and English teacher Maddie Hutchinson (right) review Link Crew applications on Wednesday, Jun. 7 from rising upperclassmen. They selected 97 students to be Link Leaders, who will help freshmen adjust to high school.

Staff Editorial

Mira Costa’s Social Emotional Wellness Committee will implement Link Crew in the 2017-18 school year, a program that will “link” incoming freshmen with juniors and seniors who plan to act as role models in order to help the freshmen transition into high school. This program will benefit both freshmen and upperclassmen because it will allow freshmen to become acclimated to Costa, while also strengthening the leadership skills of the upperclassmen.

In order to become a Link Crew leader, upperclassmen had to fill out applications. Link Crew advisers Keshia Fields and Maddie Hutchinson chose approximately 100 upperclassmen who displayed qualities such as helpfulness, kindness, responsibility, reliability and enthusiasm, said Hutchinson. Once in the program, the leaders will organize yearly events that will help guide the freshmen to discover what it takes to be successful during the transition to high school and to help facilitate freshman success.

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During freshman orientation, approximately 11 ninth graders will be paired with one leader who would become their support provider throughout the year, Hutchinson said. This relationship advantageously provides the structure for freshmen to receive support and guidance from upperclassmen who have been through the challenges that high school poses and understand the qualities it takes to be successful.

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During the year, the leaders will lead freshman orientation, periodically check in with their freshmen, attend monthly lunch meetings and school events with their crews and much more, Fields said. Since freshman year may seem overwhelming to some students, these activities will demonstrate to freshmen that people at Costa care about them and are always available for help.

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The Link Crew leaders themselves will gain invaluable skills through the program, Hutchinson said. For example, the leaders will be able to have experience problem- solving as they help freshmen with stressful situations. Additionally, leaders will have the opportunity to help their freshmen find their niches at Costa in order to ensure that all students find something they are passionate about on campus. The leaders will become an important presence on campus as they will act as models of positive behavior.

Link Crew leaders are from a variety of backgrounds, Fields said. Fields and Hutchinson hope to ensure that leaders encompass the many different student groups on campus, such as athletes, artists and much more. As a result, a multitude of different types of personalities and activities among leaders present freshmen with the valuable opportunity to gain insight about the wide range of organizations on campus that they could join.

Photos: Read more about Link Crew’s advisors and what students think of the program that will be implemented next year here.

Link Crew leaders will have the opportunity to lessen the stress of freshman year of high school for incoming freshmen. Through the various activities that leaders will participate in with their crews, upperclassmen will also engage in a leadership role that will help the freshmen feel more connected to Costa. Therefore, the program will allow upperclassmen to act as positive role models by providing the voice of experience to help freshmen become acclimated to Costa.

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