Mentor program continues to serve freshmen
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This year, freshman entered the South Lakes community along with a new group of mentors from the Taking Flight Mentoring Program.
Started seven years ago to help freshman entering high school and to create unity within the South Lakes community, the program has enjoyed much success.
“I think this school has a big heart, and the mentor program is one of the reasons why,” said leadership teacher Mike Astudillo.
The program was originally established by the current class of 2015 administrator Lindsey Trout because of the gap between students in different grades.
“We were missing connectivity between the students,” said Trout, “So I looked online for a program that could help us come together.”
Currently, there are 600 freshman teamed with 160 trained mentors. Each mentor has a group of four, which meets once a month during the freshmen P.E. classes with the goal to help freshman throughout the year and incorporate them into the South Lakes community.
“I wanted to give back to the school,” said mentor and junior Ponmali Photavath. “I’m in a lot of school activities now, and I want to get the freshman involved as well.”
The mentors go through a short training course before school year starts and learn how to help freshmen with activities such a starting cooperation games in their groups. The mentors are encouraged to learn the names of new freshman and become friends with them even outside of the mentor sessions.
“It’s just cool to see a senior football player high-five a freshman in the halls,” said Trout.