HCHS Link Crew helps freshmen make transition

Published 4:30 pm Monday, August 12, 2019

Easing the transition from middle school to high school is the focus of the Harlan County High School Link Crew, which began preparations for its fourth year of existence with training last week at the high school.

“I’m so excited to be a part of Link Crew this year,” said Ally Alred. “I remember how influential my leaders were to me, and I’m hoping I can do the same. Link Crew is a transitional program in order to make the transition from middle school to high school easier. I’m grateful and excited to be part of the transition. I can’t wait for this year.”

“Being on Link Crew not only allows me to reach out to incoming freshman and help guide them through their first year of high school, but it also allows me to make a direct impact on their lives,” said Olivia Minor. “I’ve grown up volunteering through a variety of organizations and nothing brings me more joy than seeing the difference you can make in someone’s life. I hope to see that difference in these freshmen. Also, by being a Link Crew leader I get to continue my growth as a leader in my community. I can’t wait to see what this year has in store.”

Email newsletter signup

This year’s Link Crew members include Ally Alred, Payton Asher, Caleb Ashley, Morgan Blakley, Baili Boggs, Destiny Clark, Brandy Collett, Madison Colvin, Bethany Cox, Bridgett Craig, Jared Creech, Stephen Daniel, Dixie Ewing, Emily Evans, Paighton Freeman, Peyton Griffin, Hannah Johnson, Hannah Jones, Layne Jones, Autumn Joseph, Olivia Minor, Emily Morgan, Shalora Neely, Maci Osborne, Cade Pennington, Hannah Pittman, Breonna Rhymer, Hayston Saylor, Noah Saylor, Emily Sizemore, Morgan Smallwood, Taylor Spurlock, Madison Tolliver, Johnny Turner, Hannah Wood, C.J. Carruba, Philip Helton, Katera Massingale, Sarah Huff, Madison Banks, Whitney Wilson, Emily Long, Makayla Walters, Gracen Anderson and Hannah Soublo.

Link leaders are upperclassmen who are good role models and have been successful in high school. Students must possess communication skills, leadership qualities and be responsible to be considered for a Link leader position. HCHS Link Crew advisor Holly Alred said the group covered team building, small group curriculum, the learning cycle, overcoming resistance, thinking like a leader and logistics during the training session in preparation for the new school year.

“I’m so excited to see this year’s Link Crew in action since they were freshmen themselves when the program was first established at HC,” Alred said. “Our goal is simple: make the transition from middle school to high school easier for our freshmen. The HC Link Crew leaders are assigned groups of freshmen that they will follow and look after all year long.

“In addition, the Link Crew leaders want our freshmen involved in school clubs and activities within the school. These trained leaders will be there to help our freshmen every step of the way. The HC Link Crew wants our incoming freshmen to enjoy their high school experience.”

Link Crew is sponsored by the Gear Up program from Berea College. It is a year-long transition program, according to www.boomerangproject.com, with four components that contribute to its success:

• High School Orientation — Link Leaders and freshmen start building the mentor relationship and freshmen receive information about how to be successful in high school.

• Academic Follow Ups — Link Leaders support freshman academic success and character development through structured classroom visits.

• Social Follow Ups — Link Leaders and freshmen connect outside the classroom at social events to increase student engagement and promote positive school climate.

• Leader Initiated Contacts — Link Leaders connect with their freshmen on a more individual basis.