Link Crews helping out freshmen at Topeka High

Published: Oct. 1, 2020 at 4:53 PM CDT
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TOPEKA, Kan. (WIBW) - The “Link Crew” orientation is bringing together freshmen with juniors and seniors to show them the ropes at Topeka High School.

They toured the building to find their classrooms -- so they don’t get lost in the halls on the way to class -- and answered any questions the freshmen asked.

“It’s just a program where we get to work one-on-one with the freshman and just welcome them and tell them there’s nothing to be afraid of at Topeka high,” said DeAndre Hicks, a junior at Topeka High School and Link Crew leader. “Freshmen can often get intimidated because this is a big school and with a big school comes a big population and so, you just got to find your crowd. That’s kind of what we’re navigating is telling them that, hey get into something, because Ms. Morrisey always says you can find it in Topeka High.”

Ms. Rebecca Morrisey is the principal of Topeka High School.

Hicks and Zach Stockton, a senior, were among those answering questions and giving advice to the newcomers.

“We’re having a good time. We’ve just had a great time on our tour. We had a great time in our discussion,” said Hicks. “We kind of deviated from the bulleted list and kind of started talking about life and I feel like I got to know them a little better, they got to know me a little better and I feel like this relationship is just going to go past Topeka High.”

Stockton said, “They’re really excited to get back in the building and so are we and we did a little thing in the dungeon, which is our gym here, and we were playing some games and stuff and they were really interactive, had a really good time with them.”

The advice can be about anything. Like -- how to get to class quickly, which stairwell to go to or something that many might not think about until they use it.

“We even go as far to give them the best water fountain in the school,” said Hicks.

COVID-19 has changed the way they tour and interact.

“This year is a little overwhelming for everybody. Whether you’re a freshman or a senior. So, finding out and kind of being able to acclimate to this new environment has been tough for a lot of us,” said Stockton.

Hicks said, “They’ve just been asking me, ‘What’s next?’ and honestly I don’t know how to answer that question.”

Being back in school, walking the halls, seeing teachers and helping out makes up for the wait.

“This year is going to be a difficult year but if we focus and maintain that same energy and we just keep it going, we’ll have a successful year,” said Hicks.

“Your leaders in the junior class and senior class tend to be doing link crew, so those people are highly energetic people, great leaders and it’s just a great environment,” said Stockton. “We’re just trying to get freshman the opportunity to open those doors for them so, they can find their interest and they can find their classes and succeed in the best way they know possible.”

Topeka Public Schools brings high school students back for in-person learning Monday, Oct. 5. They’re divided into morning and afternoon groups with all students remote learning Wednesday.

Copyright 2020 WIBW. All rights reserved.

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