Link Crew Helps Bring School Together
September 15, 2017
On Tuesday, about 500 freshmen overflowed the red track as they gathered into circles of anxious and excited teenagers, with their Link Crew leaders by their sides. As they caught up with each other, they discussed their first couple of weeks at SDA. During the first of three new planned follow-up meetings between Link Crew leaders and freshmen, they played games and interacted with both new and old faces.
Ninety Link Crew leaders and hundreds of freshmen reunited into groups as the festivities began on the track during extended homeroom. Link Crew is a freshmen orientation program where upperclassmen not only show students their way around campus, but also show incoming students what SDA’s culture is.
This year, there were a lot of changes made to the program after teachers and co-coordinators Robert Ross and Kerri Leonard attended a Link Crew training and they noticed how much they was missing.
In previous years, Link Crew would be one day for the freshmen orientation. This year, there was the orientation and extended homeroom meetings. The first was held yesterday, and two more are planned for later this year. The Link Crew leaders led their groups with ice breaker activities and games. They also answered freshmen’s questions.
Some freshmen liked the effects of Link Crew meetings. Freshmen Grace Keefe said, “It’s been really nice to have upperclassmen kind of show me the ropes. Just knowing that someone has my back in case I ever need the help is awesome. Link Crew makes freshmen feel like they’re a wanted and important part of the culture.”
“Link Crew people help us all feel more involved and like we belong here,” said freshman Katie Martin.
Not all freshmen like Link Crew meetings because they think it is a waste of time and would rather do something more valuable. Freshmen, Sevde Coban said, “I think it’s kind of unnecessary. Link crew was fine for orientation, but today it was kind of unnecessary. I already got used to SDA, so I don’t want it to be like the first day of school again.”
Link Crew not only has benefits towards freshmen but it also benefits the leaders. In the past years, Link Crew leaders would complete three hours of training compared to the 12 hours of training that they had done this year.
“Our leaders this year are more committed than in the past,” Ross said. “The training this year was also ten times more effective.” Link Crew benefits the leaders as it teaches them more leadership skills, he said.
“I wanted to be a Link Crew leader because it has helped me become more of a leader and go outside my comfort zone. It has been a great experience,” said Junior Maya Goldschmidt.
Senior Madison Vance added, “ It’s really fun to meet these new people, and try to help them and ease them into our school, and be like, ‘Hey look at this, high school doesn’t have to be scary,’ and make them feel welcome.”
Contributions by Ava Meyer & Madelyn Sequeira