Corral

Crew Creates Connection

Link Crew warmly welcomes this year’s new students

Link+Leader+Chelsea+Baird+%2811%29+looks+on+as+%28left+to+right%29+freshmen+Amarion+Lorthridge%2C+Chelsea+Smith%2C+Lily+Liu%2C+and+John+Mendel+participate+in+the+%E2%80%9CHuman+Knot%E2%80%9D+activity+during+AC+Lab+on+Aug.+31.+The+goal+is+to+link+arms+with+someone+and+by+the+end+of+the+game+untangle+the+entire+group+so+everyone+is+standing+in+a+circle.
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Crew Creates Connection

Link Leader Chelsea Baird (11) looks on as (left to right) freshmen Amarion Lorthridge, Chelsea Smith, Lily Liu, and John Mendel participate in the “Human Knot” activity during AC Lab on Aug. 31. The goal is to link arms with someone and by the end of the game untangle the entire group so everyone is standing in a circle.

Link Leader Chelsea Baird (11) looks on as (left to right) freshmen Amarion Lorthridge, Chelsea Smith, Lily Liu, and John Mendel participate in the “Human Knot” activity during AC Lab on Aug. 31. The goal is to link arms with someone and by the end of the game untangle the entire group so everyone is standing in a circle.

Wesley Henshaw

Link Leader Chelsea Baird (11) looks on as (left to right) freshmen Amarion Lorthridge, Chelsea Smith, Lily Liu, and John Mendel participate in the “Human Knot” activity during AC Lab on Aug. 31. The goal is to link arms with someone and by the end of the game untangle the entire group so everyone is standing in a circle.

Wesley Henshaw

Wesley Henshaw

Link Leader Chelsea Baird (11) looks on as (left to right) freshmen Amarion Lorthridge, Chelsea Smith, Lily Liu, and John Mendel participate in the “Human Knot” activity during AC Lab on Aug. 31. The goal is to link arms with someone and by the end of the game untangle the entire group so everyone is standing in a circle.

Wesley Henshaw, Managing Editor

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As it enters its second year of operation, Link Crew has been helping incoming freshmen and new students adapt to the ways of high school. Both members and new students have been enjoying this new way of community building.
“We are basically the helping hand, we welcome all new students with open arms!” senior and Link Crew member Amari Hurn said.
Link Crew was created last year to help incoming students learn how high school works and provide any help they need adjusting. They do this through playing various games, talking with the freshmen, and generally providing aid when needed.
“Link Crew is a way for upperclassmen to introduce new freshman and new students into the school through community building,” junior Brooke Hilton said. “We just try and build a community to introduce them to the bigger things at Central.”
Much of Link Crew is centered around community. Link Crew members interact with a group of freshmen, strengthening their community as new students. In turn, the whole school’s community is built up as well.
Senior and Link Crew leader Lanese Farr said that Link Crew is about “trying to help the freshmen understand who they are, what it means to be a person that goes to high school, and where they fit in.”
Coming into high school, many Link Crew members remember the feeling of uncertainty. For some, this served as an adequate motivation.
“I think we all remember our freshman year or first year coming into high school,” senior Stella Bauer said. “It was awkward, you didn’t really know what was going on; you had been told stories from middle school.”
From middle school, students are faced with the same warnings. Whether they are being told about how much work high school provides, or how much harder the classes are, expectations are built up that create fear of high school.
“We don’t want people to fall behind or feel like they’re lost in high school,” Bauer said. “Nobody likes that feeling.”
As such, one of the main purposes of Link Crew is to simply be available to the incoming students. Whether it be answering a question or a simple wave in the hallway, Link Crews make themselves open for the new students.
“It’s just being a friendly face around school, someone they know that they can say hi to in the halls,” junior Jackson Sniff said.
Link Crew members help their freshmen often in small, subtle ways. A smile in the halls, helping with understanding schedules, answering questions about school, and giving tips to help with adjusting. For some incoming students, like now leader, Amari Hurn, this has been very helpful.
“I, too, was a new student last year,” Hurn said. “A lot of the Link Crew members helped me my first few weeks of school, getting to my classes and just being people I could talk to if I saw them around school.”
The group’s advice has also been beneficial, as freshman Dani Lee explains. Lee had mainly worried about time management going into high school, as she had joined cross country and was taking two honor classes.
“They answer really great questions and they give us some personal information on how to navigate our way through easily,” Lee said.
These interactions have been good for members of Link Crew as well. Initially, many of the Link Crew members were encouraged to join as both a way to be involved, as well as a good thing to spend their time doing. The relationships created have been a huge positive.
“I consider them my little babies. It’s like a little family,” Hilton said.
Link Crew members were chosen based on their ability to help incoming students, looking for specific traits to make sure they were the best for the job. Potential members were judged for positivity and friendliness.
“The tryouts were basically just playing the same games the freshmen did and they judged you on how cheerful, happy, and welcoming you were. That cheerfulness and welcoming aspect is what they look for,” junior Balaji Vijayakumar said.
The incoming students and Link Crew first met this year during freshman orientation. There they played games and gave tours of the school. They also introduced the new students to administrators, helped them with their schedules, and familiarize them with their Link Crew Leaders. Each month, Link Crew meets with freshmen to follow up and make sure they are adjusting smoothly.

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