Students Helping Students Succeed


High school is all about learning new things and having a lot of fun. In River City High School, Link Crew is a program based off of upper grade students helping and welcoming incoming freshman to high school as River City Raiders.

The Link Crew program at River City High School has been around for several years. Link Crew leaders welcome freshman before the first day of school. The program is made to help in academic and social success as well as to encourage the continuation of doing well in school.

The purpose of the Link Crew program is to create a positive school environment. High school orientation is where students meet to learn about River City, a week before the first day of school.

For the students it gives them a shared leadership with the teachers. Link Crew leaders have a voice. They help freshmen feel comfortable during their first year of high school.

Attending orientation will not only prepare students, but it also encourages social interaction. Students meet new people, find their classes, and sign up for clubs. Link leaders advice them on what classes to take.

During the orientation the crew leaders, who are either a sophomore, a junior, or a senior, guide the students around the school. On the first day, the students attends the group assembly in the gym, led by the principle.

After the assembly the students are led by a Link Crew leader, in groups of 12. They are all introduced to each other and play several games to become friendly with one another. They show them where the different buildings are located, and they walk around to demonstrate where their classes will be that first semester.

After orientation the leaders contact the student to welcome them. This sign of concern gives the student confidence to start their first day of high school.

Link Crew is a class and a club for those who are interested in taking a step further into making sure their peers are enjoying themselves throughout the orientation process and continue that on through high school. Another element that Link Crew provides is to help students with their academics, to make sure Students do not fail their freshman classes.

Keith Cole is a member of Link Crew who has been interviewed numerous times and each time a more personal connection was transmitted. He was Antwaan Anderson’s link leader and has been one of his closest friends ever since. He has been there for him whenever Antwaan needs him.

Keith’s personal experience in Link Crew has been an eye opener for him.

Keith believes being a Link Crew member has enabled him to “not only think about and want to help myself but also care about others and help them in ways no one else can.” Keith said.

The link leaders as well as the teachers are devoted to making sure that incoming freshman are well prepared for the next four years of their high school life.

River City science teacher Ms. Schroder and english teacher Ms. Forman are Link Crew coordinators. Their main goals are to help prepare every freshman possible with all the ideas and tools they need to make it through high school at the top of their game. Link Crew enables them to share their stories and to inspire others.  

They have not only established Link Crew, but teach it and take time out of their busy day to make sure it is ran correctly and to ensure everyone gets the complete River City experience.

They put endless effort into the program, getting everything set up for orientation, and picking the select few who are link leaders that they know would be the best fit and have a student first attitude.

Students reveal that they have been completely benefited from this transition program that welcomes everyone.

Megan Tri, a freshman who attended orientation, seemed very interested and willing to answer to questions. While a meal at the cafeteria, Tri shared her experience at orientation.

She said “ I recall making a tour of classes, activities as a group , and trying to connect with new people  we met. “ Link Crew makes sure all activities are done as a group so that each student can grow closer to each other.

Link Crew does many team games to get to know the group. You will take tours and Link Crew leaders will make sure you know what classes you will be going to on your first day.

There was 11 students that didn’t go to orientation and Nereyda Molina was one of them.  Molina didn’t seem to of needed to assist orientation. She said,” I was in Mexico and didn’t get back in time.” She believes that going wouldn’t of made a difference anyways.

She didn’t go, but she thinks Link Crew should be available for those who need it whether its orientation on the first day. “Yeah even though I didn’t need the help, others might need it. It should be an optional thing.”

She later said,” I don’t think everyone needs it. It should be an optional thing.”

Link Crew does an amazing job showing incoming freshman where to go and what to join on orientation day, but they don’t seem to keep contact with their group.

Out of 43 people, only seven of them still keep contact with their Link leaders. The Link Crew Team should have a group meeting once or twice a month just to check up on their students. The point of Link Crew is to keep freshman on track throughout the whole year , not just on orientation.

Link crew is overall a great support to freshman whether it’s on orientation day or the first day of school. Going is all your decisions. You might have a great experience or maybe you just wont need it at all.

A Link leader Crystal shared her opinion about the qualities needed for a crew leader. She said, “ you need to be social, friendly and know how to work with people”.

To a response of why she became interested of joining, “ I was interested in the program because I liked the teachers than ran it and I like to help people”.

Crystal is friendly, outgoing, and willing to help and answer questions. Crystal attends the football games and interacts with the freshman at the River City games.

Crystal provided a better understanding of their responsibilities os the program. Jackson Winger spoke about his Link Leader.

“Crystal Diaz” said Jackson when asked who hi sLink crew leader was.

“She took all of our schedules and took us to the classes we needed to see “she’s A1”, meaning the best, Jackson is convinced she did an amazing job.

Another Link leader passionate about helping others, joined the transition club. Jaqueline Gallegos her primary reason to join was her desire to help freshman students and guide them on their High School journey. She has has learned and experienced a lot from this club.

Before joining Link Crew, Gallegos had a vague understanding of this HIgh School club. She didn’t have a specific insight, and she viewed it as any other club.

Link Crew was “just a club that helped freshman when they went to orientation” Gallegos said.

Her good friend Nayelli told her about this club and Jaqueline thought it was a great opportunity to help new freshman and perhaps “make this year a little bit easier” she said.

Gallegos’ freshman year went well, she said she didn’t get much guidance from her Link leaders and she didn’t feel very secure the first day, but “overall it was pretty good, my grades weren’t so good, but i had a great time with my friends” she said.

Students in the upper grades have a huge influence on the freshman. New student look up and often imitate their behavior. The way other High School students behave and what their attitude is reflects a lot, and the new students learn from them.

“A lot of freshman student looked up to the seniors,  to feel the same way they do.” shared Gallegos, “they have positive influence on them.”

This school year, Gallegos believes she has a big responsibility being in a upper grade.

“I want to show them that joining clubs is important. Colleges are also looking for students that do this. Students that do this . Students who focus on themselves.” said Gallegos.

“Working with incoming freshman allows her to meet other people of different races and cultures that come together as one in River City.”

As link leader, Gallegos think that Link Crew is very important for a new student. Orientation welcomes a student fully into the school.The student is demonstrated for his or her classes. This helps the student know exactly where to go and what to do on the first day of school. Experimenting this give the student a lot of confidence and feels welcome.

“”The student knows exactly where everything is and doesn’t have the fear of judgement.” Gallegos said.

River City High School not only has great academics but also has a variety of clubs and activities.

“Many programs, are very helpful for freshman and other grade levels as well, there are many teachers that are very helpful.” Gallegos said.

This positive opinion varies for students, many students believe they shouldn’t go to orientation while others believe it’s important to go. A survey was created for three freshman classes and asked about their opinion on link crew. Freshmans out of 55 assisted orientation looks like most students made the decision to attend.

One of the questions was asking if the freshman were as mature as they expected and about twelve out of fifteen surprisingly said yes.According to the Link Crew leaders  many freshmen attended.

In a survey students were questioned if the Orientation experience what they expected, and around nine out of fifteen responded “yes”.

When asked what the main goal for Link Crew is, the leaders seemed to agree with a single definition.

“To guide the freshmen and make sure they have the best high school experience possible”

Andres R. seemed to have a clear sight about Link Crew as well, “To guide and help out the freshman in any single way possible” he responded.

Jackson is not the only freshman who enjoyed orientation. Megan Tri recommends freshman to attend Link Crew Orientation.

Tri said,” Yeah! I felt nervous, but excited to be in a group with people I didn’t really know. I felt prepared for my first day as a high school student.”

Jackson’s leader Crystal Diaz gave a well explained phrase about being a social freshman.

“It’s important to know how to work with people because the club is primarily working with freshman and you have to be friendly and social.”

Crystal also shared that Link Crew never stops trying to improve.

“We have meetings and come up with ideas on ways we can help people.”

If Jackson took freshman year all over again he wouldn’t change a thing. She said his Link Leader “was amazing and gave lots of great advice.”

Link crew is an amazing experience for incoming freshman students. Link leader may share with students their personal experiences in high school and tell students what may happen at times and what will inevitably happen as well. Link leaders are mentors for these students, role models. High school can be very challenging for students, work becomes twice as hard as middle school, and there is so much more to deal with.

“High school is about learning and making the best of it, and if something goes wrong, there will always come something better, an even greater experience.” Gallegos says.