For peers or for college?


(Tenaya Tremp)

By Grace Gustafson

Link Crew, instituted in schools all over the nation, is a program created to help freshman students integrate smoothly into the high school environment. The program is led by advisors and upperclassman students, more commonly known as “Link Leaders.” Each leader is delegated a certain amount of freshmen that they are responsible for, aka their “Linkies.” Each upperclassman is meant to be a leader and help freshmen with personal growth and navigate the stressful atmosphere of high school. But, because of the competitive world we live in, Link Crew has become a program almost completely full of students looking to check a leadership box for college applications. A senior who has previously participated in link crew and who wishes to remain anonymous, said, “Whenever I asked why people joined the program, they would all give the same response: ‘I heard it was fun and it looks really good for college.’’’

I don’t know about you, but I don’t think students that join a program solely based on college credit are the best fit for leadership/growth programs. We now live in a world where having a high GPA and test scores just aren’t enough, resulting in people joining any extra curricular to better their overall holistic persona. This is where Link Crew becomes a front runner in the fight for the “most involved student” competition.  Link Leaders should be students who are looking to benefit others, not benefit themselves. There’s almost no one who will openly admit that they are doing something based on selfish motives, but let’s be real, very few want to sit around with freshmen without any benefit. Link Leaders should be the amazing and selfless individuals who give more than the bare minimum and want to actually help freshman achieve their full potential. But really, how common is that in high school? “You find that once most students join the program, they don’t want to participate in many of the requirements of the program, such as morning classes and lunch meetings,” the senior explained. 

Although hard to believe, there are some people who are there to benefit the underclassmen. “I do think there are some students who do truly care about making the transition from middle school to high school easier for the freshman and want to make Tam a better place,” another student, who requested to remain anonymous, said. “Most people told me they do it for college credit. But there are those kids who do it because their previous link leaders made a difference in their life and they want to do the same.” I don’t doubt that there are amazing link leaders who put in a lot of effort and try to help kids, but would they be there if there wasn’t credit that came along with it? 

The Link Crew program is a vital program in high schools worldwide, but could be making even more of a difference if they were executed better. Link Leaders should be there to have fun, enjoy themselves and others, and most importantly: help the freshmen. Link Crew shouldn’t be just another addition to a resume.