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The Student News Site of Rock Ridge High School

THE BLAZE

The Student News Site of Rock Ridge High School

THE BLAZE

The Student News Site of Rock Ridge High School

THE BLAZE

WINGS Takes Flight Amongst Freshman Phoenix

Upperclassmen in the freshman mentorship program, WINGS, worked to create lessons and activities that helped ease the freshman transition from middle school to high school.
Through team building and a strong understanding of what high school truly is, the WINGS program works to assist freshmen through their transition into high school. Juniors and seniors serve as mentors to work together to make it as easy as possible for freshmen by providing advice and getting creative during advisory to create positive relationships between themselves and their freshmen crew.
Rachel Adams
Through team building and a strong understanding of what high school truly is, the WINGS program works to assist freshmen through their transition into high school. Juniors and seniors serve as mentors to work together to make it as easy as possible for freshmen by providing advice and getting creative during advisory to create positive relationships between themselves and their freshmen crew.

For freshmen, coming into high school can be scary—a new school with huge halls and dozens of rooms across two levels. In order to ensure freshmen have a good and successful high school experience, the WINGS program was created two years after the opening of the school in 2014 by Assistant Principal Jennifer Cavanaugh. It was founded in order to help freshmen understand high school, what they can expect, and how to navigate their experience. 

Through this program, rising juniors and seniors have the opportunity to apply to be mentors. Junior Charisse Rose Caparros joined the program as a brand-new mentor this year. “I became a mentor because I’ve always had a passion to help and support people,” Caparros said. “It is also a great way to give advice to freshmen.”

 Mentors are assigned to a freshman advisory where they create lesson plans to help form a strong understanding of high school. From social media usage to advice sessions with mentors, freshmen are able to learn and adapt to the high school environment as quickly as possible.

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Cavanaugh enjoys seeing the mentors who were once freshmen share their experiences throughout high school with the new freshmen. It provides them with the opportunity to take advice from their peers rather than adults they may feel they cannot connect with. 

Freshman Mya Bilinski has enjoyed having the opportunity to speak with WINGS mentors during advisory. “I like being able to know some of the upperclassmen,” Bilinski said. “I really like the mentors that I’ve met, they are kind and relatable.” Having a strong connection with mentors allows freshmen to ask questions and get advice in return. It also helps create a strong relationship with fellow classmates and upperclassmen.

This year, with the addition of activity blocks, the program is easier to run. “The mentors now have time to meet with each other and the coaches to write our lesson plans,” Cavanaugh said. “This is the first year we’ve been able to do that.”

Activity block gives the WINGS program 30 minutes every other Friday to meet  in a group and come up with lessons and activities they want to target towards the freshman class. Mentors and advisors come together to brainstorm and put their plans in motion. By the end of the year, the freshmen have gained the confidence and connections to ensure their high school experience is the best that it can be.

With plans to create strong team bonds between freshmen and mentors, the WINGS program continues to support the newest students by welcoming them into high school with open arms.

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About the Contributors
Rachel Adams
Rachel Adams, Website Coordinator
Rachel Adams is a senior. This is her third year on staff, and she is one of the Website Coordinators. She is part of the girls tennis team and the theater program. Her favorite hobbies include baking, hiking, crocheting, and reading. Her favorite books are murder mysteries, but she loves all genres. When she graduates high school, she hopes to get into aviation, specifically piloting commercial planes. She has only been on a plane twice, but she knew this was something she wanted to do for a career almost right away. Rachel is excited to see what the future holds, in both college and beyond.
Samantha Chang
Samantha Chang, Staff Writer
Samantha Chang is a sophomore in her second year of staff. An artist and writer from a young age, she has decided to continue working on the newspaper due to the positive experience and friendships she made in her first year. Samanatha has many hobbies, such as painting, writing, and her newfound favorite, krav maga. In school, she’s a dedicated student favoring classes that involve English and tends to stay away from science and math. In the future she hopes to become a journalist or artist.
Nadia Shirr
Nadia Shirr, Staff Writer
Nadia Shirr is a junior and this is her second year on The Blaze. She joined so she could have a more fun, and chill class. When there's a new event to cover, she likes to write about it so she can give her perspective on the topic. Shirr has also been involved in crew for the last two years. Shirr would like to go out of state for college, but is still undecided as to what she’d like to study.

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