Link Crew Focuses on Welcoming Incoming Freshmen on Campus


Photo by Ava Caleca

By focusing on the thoughts and questions of the incoming freshmen class, Link Crew will prepare to welcome the class of 2023 to campus next year.

Ava Caleca, Social Media Director

Link Crew is a new club that is currently training on how they will assist new students on campus during the beginning of the 2019-20 school year, with over 80 juniors and seniors introducing and guiding incoming students to campus throughout the start of their high school careers by touring students around the school and giving them advice throughout the year.

With Portola High finally obtaining four grade levels in the upcoming school year, high school may seem overwhelming for both returning students and incoming freshmen. Link Crew is a system also implemented in other high schools such as Northwood High.

Link Crew is important for students because so many freshmen are scared about coming into high school and are confused about so many things.”

— Ava Fakharpour

Link Crew is important for students because so many freshmen are scared about coming into high school and are confused about so many things,” Link Crew member and junior Ava Fakharpour said. “Link Crew helps them feel more comfortable and ready for the transition.”

Link Crew will start helping students for the first time in August for orientation day. The team will meet numerous times over the summer with each other as well as during the school year, with their first meeting being today during lunch in the teacher lounge.

“The first [goal] is to create a positive, welcoming environment for the next class of freshmen,” Link Crew co-adviser and math teacher Jennifer Ochsner said. “The second would be to orient them to Portola’s culture, so really helping them early on start to understand what makes Portola unique and how they can get involved and know all of the opportunities so that they are not going to be juniors here and say ‘I wish I would’ve’ or ‘I didn’t know this existed.’”

Ochsner and co-adviser Kearci Moir will lead the group by helping participating students feel prepared for guiding freshmen around campus. Orientation day will be the first day many of the freshmen will enter campus as a student, and their assigned crew member will assist by showing them around campus. One Link Crew member is assigned to a relatively small group of freshmen to meet with throughout the school year. Link Crew members take their roles as leaders seriously due to the time commitment of the club.

“I think the commitment is up to how much they want to invest in their own group,” Moir said. “If they are close with their group they can do more activities together, or if their group just disperses, then that’s the point. We want freshmen to make their friends and go off in the world and not need their link leaders.”

Link Crew juniors and seniors will help freshmen feel comfortable by having their assigned Link Crew leader welcome and include them at many events at the beginning of the school year such as at football games and the first school dance of the year.

“I wanted to join Link Crew because I have always been in ASB who has been the link crew figures in the past before we had link crew and I always enjoyed touring the freshman around the helping them out,” Fakharpour said. “Another big reason why I wanted to join link crew is because I was originally supposed to go to Northwood before I transferred right before my freshman year, and I had a link crew leader at Northwood which was so helpful and I loved having and it made me want to do that one day.”