By Sarah Bollinger
Everyone thinks of something different when they hear the words “Link Crew.” Some may think of helpfulness and kindness, while others may think of something entirely opposite. Link Crew is an elective that started about 3 year ago by one of the teachers, Mr. Tim Gager. Link Crew is a national club “built on the belief that students can help students succeed” (boomerangproject.com). It is all about teamwork and communication between students, without too much adult intervention.
At El Camino, it is a group of Juniors and Seniors – some enrolled in a 4th period class, while others with impacted schedules volunteer their time – helping out the freshmen by working to ensure 9th graders have a great first year of high school. Everyone has different opinions though. As Freshmen Erica Tapia stated, “Link Crew is effective for some people.”
Freshmen have expressed different opinions on what they think of Link Crew. A few have said that it is a ‘waste of time’ or they don’t feel like it helps. They have noticed that they are not contacted outside of meetings, which already do not occur that often. This could be a sign that holding all Link leaders accountable is a challenge, especially if they are not enrolled in the daily class. Tapia believes that there should be more meetings for any freshmen who have questions about the school.
All of the leaders, just like the freshmen, have different personalities as well, which can affect the rapport among the entire group. Some Link Crew leaders have been treated very poorly, whether its behind their backs or to their faces. Senior Rebecca Seltzer stated that the freshmen seem to treat her quite well.
Link Crew can be a struggle, for both groups of students. The thing that the students all benefit from with this program are the bonds that are created. Seltzer stated that Link Crew “cuts barriers between upper and lower classmen with group activities.”
Most freshmen say how they ‘love it’ and wish there was more time for link meetings. This is not a new request, but since Link Crew is still a relatively new program at El Camino, changes to the program cannot be made all at once. This year, Link Crew is responding by collaborating with PE 1 to get the groups together more easily. Freshman are required to attend the meetings that occur during PE, whereas last year many opted out of meetings scheduled randomly during lunch time.
This elective/program should become an El Camino institution if it continues making steady improvements. The class/club not only helps the freshmen with their first couple of days at El Camino, but also helps Juniors and Seniors, who may not be as social, open up and take on a leadership role. Seltzer hopes that “Link Crew will go on for a while,” making future Link leaders out of this crew of Freshmen.