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McLeadership program kicks off with first connect groups

Freshmen meet their "Big Mac" mentors for the first meeting of the year

Freshmen+met+with+their+Big+Macs+during+Highlander+Time+8+on+Friday.+The+goal+of+the+McLeadership+program+is+to+ease+the+transition+from+middle+to+high+school.+%28photo+by+Maren+Kranking%29
Freshmen met with their Big Macs during Highlander Time 8 on Friday. The goal of the McLeadership program is to ease the transition from middle to high school. (photo by Maren Kranking)

Freshmen met with their Big Macs during Highlander Time 8 on Friday. The goal of the McLeadership program is to ease the transition from middle to high school. (photo by Maren Kranking)

Freshmen met with their Big Macs during Highlander Time 8 on Friday. The goal of the McLeadership program is to ease the transition from middle to high school. (photo by Maren Kranking)

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On Friday, Sept. 7, members of the McLeadership program met with their freshman connect groups for the first time. The groups met during Highlander Time 8 in various locations, filling up both gyms, the cafeteria, and the lecture hall.

    Members of the program, called “Big Macs,” have been trained to lead freshmen in discussions and activities throughout the year; the goal of the program is to ease the transition from middle to high school for ninth graders.

    “Through the connect groups, the freshmen will make connections with their Big Macs, and have an upperclassman they can reach out to if they have any questions about school events, classes to take, clubs to get involved in and really anything they want to know about McLean,” McLeadership Executive Mentor Ellie Schultz said.

    The program has undergone a few changes this year to improve the mentoring experience for freshmen.

    “This year, we are having all of the connect groups during Highlander Time 8 rather than during each gym period Highlander Time,” Schultz said. “This way, now that the freshmen have met with their mentors and have exchanged contact information, they won’t have to switch Big Mac groups if their schedule changes moving forward.”

    According to Schultz, the first connect groups were a success. Freshmen met with their assigned Big Mac for about half an hour, getting to know each other better through questions and activities.

    “My connect group was really fun,” freshman Ella Park said. “I think having an upperclassman mentor is going to be really helpful this year. It’s cool to know someone who’s done what you’re doing right now, so they can guide you or help you along the way.”

    Now that the freshmen have met their Big Macs and gotten to know them, connect groups will meet about once a month until January; meetings will be based around bonding and teamwork activities. The Executive Mentors are hopeful about the success of the program for the rest of the year.

    “The freshmen are already making connections with their Big Macs,” Schultz said. “We have such an awesome group of Big Macs this year and I can’t wait to make a difference with their connect groups.”

 

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