Members of the new student mentorship program met for the first time during a pre-orientation for new students Aug. 23. Counselor Michelle Bracken said the administration created the program after realizing a need for a support system analogous to Big Sibs at the Upper School.
“[The program] gives you someone to ask if you need help with something, and it gives you someone to know on campus,” new sophomore Simba Makawa ’21 said.
Bracken said that the program was well-received by both new students and their parents and that there was an unexpectedly high number of rising juniors who expressed interest in joining the program.
Of the 48 students that applied, the administration chose only 26 to become mentors. Some mentors will staff a support center for the first week of school, and others will set up a meeting spot during their lunch period. They will then meet with the new students periodically over the course of the school year. Bracken noted that rising juniors who were new sophomores took a particular interest in the program.
“The mentors seem very excited about it,” Bracken said. “They know it’s nice to have a familiar face, and they want to be that familiar face.”
During the pre-orientation, the mentors met the new students and showed them the campus. In addition, Director of Instructional Technology Jeffrey Snapp introduced students to online resources that they will use over the course of the school year.
Many students said they have already taken advantage of the new support system. Hannah Mittleman ’20 advised a new sophomore who had a tryout for Upper School Symphony.
“When I finally saw her off to her audition, I felt like a proud stepmom who finally proved herself,” Mittleman said.