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Helping ease anxiety for incoming freshman

Posted at 10:33 PM, Feb 07, 2017
and last updated 2017-02-08 00:34:03-05

The transition from junior high to high school can be a terrifying leap for some students.  Emotions can run high for incoming freshman as they begin a new chapter in their lives. 

Everything is new for the freshman. They have to deal with new buildings, making new friends, and asking themselves, "will I fit in?" 
 
A program at Canyon Del Oro High School takes away those anxieties with one simple visit.
 
The Link Crew program provides middle school students a first-hand look at high school. 
 
The program allows the nerves of students to be put at ease and minimize the possibility of bullying. 
 
Michelle Gerard says the program gets rid of the high school bullying stigma.
 
"Make them comfortable with their surroundings," says Gerard. 
 
Senior, Lexi Defrancesco has been a Link Crew leader for two years. She joined the program after realizing how it helped her adjust to high school when she came in four years ago. 
 
"It made me feel so much more confident to go to school," said Defrancesco. "I want to give that to other kids and have other kids feel better about going to High School during this rough transition."
 
 
The Link Crew has 80 upper classmen helping students before they get to high school.
 
Once 8th graders are in groups, they start touring the campus and getting an idea of what classes are offered, meeting teachers and students from each grade.
 
The program provides new students an open advantage to approach a familiar face if they need to in the future.
 
Senior, Camryn Stallwood says this is a way for the students to feel comfortable with upperclassmen. 
"Even if they are not able to talk to an adult they can come to us, and we can help them with a problem if there is bullying going on," said Stallwood.