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Mon, June 24

BMHS LINK Crew helps freshmen succeed
Quad-City Schools

BMHS LINK Crew activities help incoming freshmen make a successful transition to high school. (HUSD/Courtesy)

BMHS LINK Crew activities help incoming freshmen make a successful transition to high school. (HUSD/Courtesy)

The transition to high school is a major event in the life of a young person. Numerous studies show that the transition to high school is marked by a period of emotional stress and discomfort for adolescents, often times resulting in a decrease in academic achievement and an increasingly difficult social adjustment. It is this combination of factors that can be the impetus to poor decision making, as well as high-risk and self-destructive behavior for freshmen. Bradshaw Mountain High School has worked diligently to decrease these emotions and behaviors through its LINK Crew program.

LINK Crew is a high school transition program designed by the Boomerang Project to welcome freshmen and make them feel comfortable throughout the first year of their high school experience. LINK Coordinators train junior and senior mentors to be LINK Crew Leaders. As positive role models, LINK Crew Leaders are mentors who guide the freshmen to discover what it takes to be successful during the transition to high school and help facilitate freshmen success.

In May of 2010, Superintendent (then principal of BMHS) Dan Streeter introduced this opportunity to the staff of BMHS. Sheryl McCully and Annie O’Connor jumped at the chance. Since then, LINK has impacted the lives of over 800 leaders and over 2,800 freshmen, not to mention the coordinators’ lives.

Throughout a typical school year, LINK provides freshmen with a variety of opportunities to make new friends, learn new things and have a great deal of fun. Freshmen orientation is LINKs biggest event, providing students with a preview of Bradshaw, games, team activities, school tours, costumes, lunch and a trial run of taking the busses. LINK also sponsors such things as the freshmen football tailgate party, LINK or TREAT, the Halloween dance, Cocoa and Cram, ice cream socials, and academic opportunities.

Each year, LINK tries to add at least one more activity in order to keep up school spirit and involvement from the freshmen. Since 2010, LINK has had a few coordinators, but the current and strong team of Dani Larson, Tiffany Church, Jared Smith and Annie O’Connor have taken LINK to a new level. Each year, the leaders get stronger and the spirit gets louder!

According to principal Kort Miner, “LINK has made such a great impact on those middle schoolers transitioning to high school in that on the first day of school, freshmen have already met a junior and senior who are there to answer questions and get them to the right class, they have a ‘crew,’ they feel confident, and they know the expectations and rules, which, in turn, relieves the anxiety of starting their first year of high school.”

Former LINK leader and 2012 graduate Breanna Miller-Hiland loved LINK Crew.

“Being a LINK leader has made me want to help people feel comfortable in any situation,” she said. “As a freshmen, you are scared and nervous, so we were there as LINK Leaders to help them feel comfortable. Now, in my everyday life, I try to help people feel welcome in all situations.”

According to 2016 graduate Julia Fields, “LINK helped me not only form great friendships and bonds, but has given me the tools and skills to make an even bigger impact at Arizona State University filling similar duties as a Community Assistant within the Residential Community.”

Bradshaw hosted its eighth Freshmen Orientation last Friday with a strong 350 in attendance. Welcome, incoming freshmen, to the 2017-18 Bradshaw Mountain High School year.

Information provided by HUSD.

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