Leadership program, students help out freshmen with the first year

Marissa VanDaelen, Staff Writer

helping-handBy Staff Writer: Marissa VanDaelen

Starting high school can be frightening for anyone who has heard anything about what high school is like. For freshmen, hearing how their grades during their high school careers are truly important for college can cause a lot of stress. Some students at Howell High School volunteered to help reduce some of that first year pressure through a leadership program known as Link Crew.

“Our goal in Link Crew is to give freshmen positive memories and helpful tips, to be there to guide them to the positive choices,” senior Taylor Sysol says.

On the first day of school, the Link Crew members met up with some of the freshmen and played ice breaker games to help them warm-up.

“They mostly acted like it was stupid but they participated anyways,” Sysol says.

Similarly, the members have kept in contact with their groups they were placed in on the first day and continue to keep in contact with them as much as possible.

The Link Crew members take part in meeting up with various freshmen regularly. They do warm-up games, answer questions honestly, and give advice on how to be successful in their high school careers.

“Freshman year is the make-it or break-it year. It’s the year a student decides if high school is meant for them. The first year of high school is the year most students end up dropping out and we’re trying to prevent that from progressing,” Sysol says.

Furthermore, each Link Crew leader is either a junior or a senior. They work in teams of six leaders with about 15 freshmen.

“We are there all year to answer questions and give our guidance because we too are students. It’s a lot easier for them to talk to us than it is to talk to a teacher. We understand better because most of us have similar experiences,” Sysol says.

Whether it’s about grades, attendance, or study habits, the Link Crew members will always be there to answer any questions the freshman may have to offer.

Additionally, the Link Crew has students sent over during lunch time to sit with students who look like they need someone.

“We just go over to anyone who looks like they’re practically alone. We really try to get the quiet ones to open up a little. We want them to feel welcomed and accepted,” Sysol says.

The Link Crew members will continue to visit the freshmen during some lunch times and are supposed to meet with them again soon.

“We just made cards for every single freshman last week and put them in their lockers to congratulate them on their first week of high school,” senior Lexi Petroi says.

Actually, the members are supposed to make more cards for the freshmen throughout the year and final cards will be especially important at the end of the year.

“I think a lot of the freshmen view us sometimes negatively but I think they’re actually going to benefit from us. I think they like having our attention and feeling like they’re important. I enjoy Link Crew and helping them out because I was a freshman before too, and I like giving advice so I’m happy I get to do so,” Sysol says.