HCHS program offers help for freshmen


Haley Anderson

Harlan County High School Link Crew leaders, from left, Cameron Carmical, Rhett Alred, Emma Day and Kali Nolan worked on plans for the program, which will begin during the 2016-2017 school year and is designed to help incoming freshmen adapt to high school by working with older students.

Haley Hensley, Bear Tracks

Providing a link to all that eastern Kentucky’s newest state of the art high school has to offer for incoming freshmen is the goal of the Harlan High School Link Crew.

The program is currently in the planning stages with 60 current juniors being selected to become link leaders and participate in the link crew leadership class.

“We are very excited to have this national program at Harlan County High School,” said adviser and HCHS Link Crew instructor Holly Alred. “It will kick off in May when the seniors host Frosh Day orientation for the freshmen.”

“We believe this program will help ease the transition for the freshmen entering our school,” added Harlan County High School Principal Edna Burkhart. “By working with some of our best upperclassmen, the incoming freshmen will learn what it takes to succeed in high school.”

This program will be a leadership program student-led by trained juniors and seniors from the high school. Link leaders are upperclassmen who are good role models and have been successful in high school. Students must possess communication skills, leadership qualities and be responsible to be considered for a link leader position.

Link Crew Leaders are part of a leadership class during the school day. Students accepted into the program are required to take this class. After going over all applications, only 60 students will be chosen to become a leader and a member of the class.

In this class, leaders will organize activities for the freshmen, learn leadership skills, and work to incorporate freshmen in HCHS activities. Each link crew leader is assigned a group of students and will serve as their “link” to getting connected to the social and academic life that HCHS has to offer.

“Link crew leaders will examine what’s great about HCHS and also what might be challenging for new students,” Alred said. “Together, link crew leaders will implement new ways to help students connect and find their way on our large campus.”

The job of the link crew leaders will be to check in with the freshmen throughout the year, plan and attend social activities with them and simply “be a friend” to help with a smooth transition.