The school’s Ambassadors are developing a new peer mentoring program to help ninth graders feel more comfortable during their transition into high school.
“This program is designed for incoming freshmen who the administration thinks may be struggling to bridge the gap between middle school and high school,” said senior Sharon Hou, president of the Ambassadors.
Head of the Ninth Grade Core Mentoring Program Keren Robertson and Ambassadors adviser Suzanne Williams are currently in charge of running the program.
Inspired by former Assistant Principal Kathleen Meagher in 2006, the Peer Mentoring Program was created this year in accordance with the Ninth Grade Core Mentoring Program in order to give support to the freshmen. Beginning in January of 2008, a freshman teacher and a non-ninth grade Ambassador, ideally of the same gender, will be assigned to a particular student who the administration believes is “falling through the cracks.” The teacher and the Ambassador will work in accordance to help the student feel more comfortable on the campus.
“We will work with them more closely and help them stay connected to the school, as well as help them be more academically successful,” Robertson said. “We want them to be successful as a whole person.”
The student and their assigned Ambassador will be required to attend the classroom of the student’s mentor teacher during tutorial, where the student and teacher mentors will work together to help the student feel like he or she belongs to the to the community and has a friend on campus. The Ambassador will also guide the student in getting involved with school activities such as clubs and sports, as well as help them with organizational skills, study skills and overall navigation through the school.
“Ambassadors will act as ‘big buddies’ to the students and work in conjunction with the mentor teacher,” Sharon said.
The Ambassadors decided to get involved with the mentoring program because they believed students would be more comfortable working with a peer.
“The goal is that all students will feel they have an adult and student on campus that they are comfortable with, so they feel more connected,” Robertson said.
The Peer Mentors are looking forward to working with their students.
“It will be really beneficial to the struggling students,” junior Aleksa Bril said.
As of now, only Ambassadors are given the chance to become student mentors because they are certified as Peer Mediators. However, anyone who is interested in participating in the new program can contact Williams. All students are capable of lending a hand.
“Our goal is to teach the students that helping others is the greatest gift in life,” Williams said.