LINKing high school students together

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BRUNSWICK, OH- LINK Crew is a club where juniors and seniors mentor the incoming freshmen and help their transition from the middle school to the high school be as smooth as possible. The goal is to make the students feel comfortable with the new school and to let them know that there is always someone there to help.

Brunswick High school has had LINK Crew for 10 years and hopes to continue to bring positivity to the school in a way that isn’t already there.

LINK advisor at BHS, Mrs. Salvatore, said, “I was here at BHS without LINK and there wasn’t a positive relationship between grade levels in the halls.”

The students that are selected as LINK leaders try to break down the barriers that the freshmen put up in order to prepare themselves for high school. Of course, it may be difficult at times, the leaders introduce their kids to new things and provide them guidance in the form of a peer.

Junior Kyle Ruffner, a LINK leader at BHS said, “I want my link kids to know that there are upperclassman that are here for them. My goal is to ensure that my freshman have a fantastic first year and that they’re motivated to do the same for incoming freshman in the future.”

The LINK leaders are motivated to help out anyone that is feeling a little lost in a school that is so intimidating. They want to break the freshman out of their comfort zones and to get them involved with school activities.

“As a freshman, my LINK leaders were not as involved in helping my transition from middle school to high school, so I wanted to be a good role model for my freshmen. I want to make them feel more comfortable and confident in the high school environment [and to introduce them to new things],” said Nora Haycook, a first year LINK leader at BHS.

Brunswick High School is not the only school that has this club to help the freshman. Juniors and seniors at Berea Midpark High School and North Royalton have the ability to participate in this club as well.

“The school offers LINK leaders as almost counselors, [in the sense that] we understand our kids pretty well and know what they are going through as high schoolers,” said McKenna Mullenax, a LINK leader from Berea-Midpark High School.

It is their first year with LINK at Berea-Midpark High School and there already is a change in the atmosphere of the school. The leaders are currently working on treats for their kids, where leaders are required to get their kids something every month to remind them there is always someone there for them.

Mrs. Draves, a LINK advisor at Berea-Midpark, said, “LINK Crew ran 2 days of orientation this year! We have been a 10-12 building for 5 years. This year, 18.19 school year the freshmen came back. BUT, that also meant that we had 2 grades to “orient” to the high school. Our LINK Leaders worked so hard to run the ENTIRE orientation for BOTH grades = 2 full school days long.”

Not only do LINK leaders help to make the freshman more comfortable with the school, but they also help the flow of the school. They make school a place where anyone can enjoy their experience.

“I’ve shown them that it’s cool to be weird, when the representatives of our school are doing weird things and getting crazy. It breaks down the freshman’s idea that they might be too cool for certain activities,” said RJ Burrows, a LINK leader from North Royalton High School.

No matter which school you go to, the goal of LINK is to make the atmosphere of the school one that is comfortable so that freshman can feel welcomed in a school where they will attend for the next 4 years.

“We want to promote equality between the grade levels and […] to create a bond that will last a lifetime,” said Salvatore.

Mr. Bosko, a LINK advisor at Berea-Midpark High School, said, “I believe our culture would be extremely negative” without LINK at the high school.

Get involved in activities that you wouldn’t expect yourself to like and remember that someone is always there to help you in times of need.