Peer mentors demonstrate power of connections in Tahoe Truckee schools
Special to Sierra Sun
Starting high school can be both exciting and daunting for incoming freshmen. It’s a new chapter in a student’s life and one they may feel uncertain about.
They’re going to a new school, and will have different teachers and a different environment. To ease the transition, Tahoe Truckee schools offer Link Crew, a peer mentor program to help freshmen start their high school experience on a positive note and develop strong connections at their school right from the start.
Link Crew welcomes every ninth-grade student at North Tahoe High School and Truckee High School and gives them a student mentor for the entire year.
First, students get a personal call from their peer mentor, inviting them to a freshmen orientation. All throughout the year peers and mentors have the opportunity to talk about real life issues, both academic and social. Students can have candid conversations with their peers and learn from each other’s experiences. The mentors guide, support and connect with freshmen and help facilitate a successful first year.
What’s really compelling about Link Crew is it’s students helping students. Link Crew helps instill lasting school connections. Students build solid connections with each other and have a go-to person outside of their classroom.
This important peer to peer program would not be possible without the generous support of our community partners, including the SH Cowell Foundation, the Excellence in Education Foundation and Rob Katz, CEO of Vail Resorts and his wife, Elena Amsterdam. We are all dedicated to supporting local youth through mental health and wellness programs.
Based on the success of Link Crew we are expanding our offerings and implementing this peer mentor concept at North Tahoe School through a program called W.E.B. (Where Everybody Belongs). North Tahoe School serves students in fifth through eighth grade, and 30 eighth-grade students will be serving as peer mentors to the incoming fifth-grade students and help smooth their transition into a new school.
Kelli Twomey is coordinator of parent & community relations for the Tahoe Truckee Unified School District. Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org or 530-582-2585.