Lynchburg, VA- The first year of high school can be tough for some students. That is why one school in Lynchburg has created a program to help the newbies.
E. C. Glass High School is one of only three schools in the state to offer the program, and this is their third year. It's called Link Crew, and it's used in schools around the world. Freshmen are paired with senior mentors to help them make it through their first year.
High school can be daunting for first timers.
"It's really overwhelming, because it's so big," said Logan McCleurk, a freshman at E. C. Glass.
Then there's navigating the foreign hallways and the hustle and bustle of class changes.
"My classes used to be right beside each other, and I had time to go to my locker and stand there for a while. Now I'm like racing to class," said McCleurk.
But now McCleurk has some insider tips from someone who has been through it: senior William Scott.
"I think it helps them not only with getting to know where they are going but getting to know what's out there and what the opportunities are available," said Scott, a link leader.
Link Leaders show freshmen the ropes, even help with homework and help them fit in.
"They did like games and to get to know each other so the kids could remember each other's names, and kind of get to know each other before the first day," said McCleurk.
Link Crew is part of a national program called "The Boomerang Project." According to their research these programs have a big impact. Schools that use transitional programs saw lower dropout rates compared to ones without them. Students feel more secure and are more knowledgeable about their schools.
Program coordinators say each formed "link" can have lasting effects.
"Our leaders really do change some of our freshmen's lives," said Lisa Kibler Martin, Link Crew coordinator.
This Friday the Link Crew leaders are going to host a big event for the freshmen. It's called the Freshman Tailgate at the Lynchburg City Stadium. Parents can come meet the Link mentors and learn more about the program.
For more information on the Boomerang Project or Link Crew go to www.boomerangproject.com