Link Crew Welcomes Freshmen

Hoover meets Class of 2023

Megan Miller, Business Manager

Starting high school is often a scary time for incoming freshmen. Luckily for students at Hoover, the Link Crew program is around to help them out.
Link Crew is a program in which juniors and seniors show freshmen around the school and help them adapt to life as a high school student. It has now been around at Hoover for two years. Senior Cade Houston believes that this is an important program to have.
“The importance of a club like Link Crew is to mentor the freshmen so they make the most out of their long but fast time in high school,” he said.
Even though this is only Link Crew’s second year at the high school, people have already begun to see changes within the program.
“The program has changed since the first year in that everyone returning from the previous year, whether it’s a Link Crew Leader or Advisor, is now more prepared and comfortable with completing their responsibilities,” Houston said. “This allows for tasks to be completed in a shorter amount of time and allows for leaders to know what information must be shared with freshmen.”
There is often a stereotype that the upperclassmen do not like freshmen in high school. One goal of Link Crew and the leaders is to break this idea of separation.
“I decided to become a Link Crew Leader because I wanted to make the freshmen feel comfortable at Hoover,” Houston said. “Everyone has to experience being a freshman, and it can be a bit confusing and overwhelming, so if I can help a small number of freshmen ease their transition to high school then sign me up.”
Freshman Marianna Jocas did find the experience of Link Crew beneficial when she began her time at Hoover High School.
“Link Crew helped me get an understanding of the type of people at Hoover and helped me feel welcomed by everyone,” she said.
Freshmen orientation takes place the day before all Hoover students come back to school. This is the day where freshmen get to know the school and learn the ropes.
“I feel that the Link Crew Leaders really helped the freshmen get used to the school,” she said. “It really did help us get to know people and know the way around the school, and other people that didn’t go to freshman orientation said that they had a hard time the first day trying to get through the halls.”
While most students come from North Canton Middle School, a portion of the freshmen are from outside the district. This program is really helpful for them because it allows them to make new friends before they start school with everyone.
“I enjoyed meeting new people because I was afraid that I wouldn’t meet new friends and that no one would make an effort to talk to me,” Jocas said. “Now I’m really good friends with the people who were in my Link Crew group, and I sit at their lunch table every day.”
Senior Gurpreet Lealh believes that having a program in high schools like Link Crew will help to make everyone feel more comfortable.
“When I was a freshman I was super socially awkward,” he said, “but now I [think] high school is fun and I joined clubs, so I feel more involved in the school.”
Many juniors and seniors that did not have the opportunity to experience starting high school with Link Crew wish that they had been able to.
“Link Crew would have helped me a lot,” Lealh said. “I remember my freshman year was terrible; I almost cried. I didn’t know where the rooms were at. It wasn’t fun at all. I felt like seniors were scary, but if I knew some of them who were nice that would have been helpful.”
One of the Link Crew advisors is teacher Mr. Nick Plazak, who wanted to make a difference at Hoover and decided to become involved in the program.
“I saw Hoover High School as lacking school spirit sometimes,” he said. “We lack involvement with some of the kids. Trying to get those kids who aren’t involved in anything involved is a cool thing. I just wanted to improve their overall school spirit, and the atmosphere in general is something I really wanted to improve on.”
One way Link Crew sought to improve school spirit was holding a tailgate for the freshmen Sept. 27 before the home football game against McKinley.
“Freshmen should attend the tailgate because it’s going to allow them to just have a good time and have a high school experience,” Plazak said. “Some kids may have high anxiety or may think they don’t have a friend to be able to go to a football game with, and it’s trying to get them out and involved.”