Mentor program making local high school "a better place" - KPLC 7 News, Lake Charles, Louisiana

Mentor program making local high school "a better place"

IOWA, LA (KPLC) -

Some local high school juniors and seniors are taking steps to ensure a better high school experience for lower classmen.

Four schools in the area have established Link Crew programs on campus. Jennings, South Beauregard, Westlake, DeQuincy, and Iowa High School all have this program, which aims to mentor and teach freshmen how to make good decisions and be the best person they can be.

"We get on that peer level that teachers can never get on," said Link Crew Commissioner LaShondra George.

That's the goal of the mentoring program. It matches a group of high school freshmen with junior and senior leaders. The leaders go into classrooms and teach lessons that include suspending judgement and time management.

"Even if somebody's not graduating with a 4.0 or wants to go to college, the lessons that we teach can be applied to any part of life," said Link Crew Commissioner Shelby Miller.  

George and Miller are both seniors at Iowa. As freshmen, the program didn't exist. But now, they're doing what they can to make a difference. George says the changes are obvious.

"They understand one another," said George. "Especially the bullying aspect. They finally have that in their head, oh wow, we were doing that?"

Leslie Gurley is a co-sponsor. She says it's great to see freshmen being reached, no matter size, shape, ethnic background or social stature.

"So often as a teacher, I see that there are some kids that are isolated, that they don't feel like anybody can understand them," said Gurley. "And by being set in a group, and it might not be a link leader that is there leader that is exactly like them, but we have one more method of contact with that isolated kid, so that they don't feel alone."

Freshmen teachers are also noticing a difference. Jason Foolkes teaches English to all freshmen at Iowa. He sees the transition from middle to high school as the largest obstacle for students.

"Going through the link crew process, it actually helps them with that transition, so then there's less fear of what's expected outside the classroom, in the hallways," said Foolkes. "They're able to focus more on what's expected in class."

Miller is quick to point out that the freshmen aren't the only ones affected.

"I understand that I have an influence on them, but they also have an influence on me," said Miller.  

Several other schools in the area are trained and ready to bring a Link Crew of their own to campus.

Gurley says those schools include Elton and Sulphur.  

The Iowa leaders also taught a lesson at Barbe this week, hoping to reach as many students as they can.

Copyright KPLC 2012. All rights reserved.

  • More Local NewsNewsMore>>

  • Zachary Bench sentenced to life for second-degree murder

    Zachary Bench sentenced to life for second-degree murder

    Friday, June 23 2017 5:43 PM EDT2017-06-23 21:43:31 GMT
    Zachary Bench (Source: Calcasieu Parish Sheriff's Office)Zachary Bench (Source: Calcasieu Parish Sheriff's Office)

    Zachary Bench was sentenced to life in prison for second-degree murder on Friday, said Patsy Dugas, spokeswoman for the Calcasieu District Attorney's Office.

    Bench was found guilty of the 2015 murder of Jody Barlow in March.

    More >>

    Zachary Bench was sentenced to life in prison for second-degree murder on Friday, said Patsy Dugas, spokeswoman for the Calcasieu District Attorney's Office.

    Bench was found guilty of the 2015 murder of Jody Barlow in March.

    More >>
  • FIRST ALERT FORECAST: Cloudy skies and high heat index values through tonight; wet weekend ahead

    FIRST ALERT FORECAST: Cloudy skies and high heat index values through tonight; wet weekend ahead

    Friday, June 23 2017 3:47 PM EDT2017-06-23 19:47:38 GMT
    Storms possible overnight tonightStorms possible overnight tonight

    Overnight, we could have a few showers and thunderstorms. They will be quick-moving storms and not last too long. Rain will arrive as early as midnight and make its way out to our south by 6:00 a.m. Temperatures will cool to the upper 70s. Winds will continue to blow out of the south, but should calm down to 5-10 mph. Over the weekend, we will continue to have higher than normal rain chances. We will have scattered showers and thunderstorms in the afternoon on both days. 

    More >>

    Overnight, we could have a few showers and thunderstorms. They will be quick-moving storms and not last too long. Rain will arrive as early as midnight and make its way out to our south by 6:00 a.m. Temperatures will cool to the upper 70s. Winds will continue to blow out of the south, but should calm down to 5-10 mph. Over the weekend, we will continue to have higher than normal rain chances. We will have scattered showers and thunderstorms in the afternoon on both days. 

    More >>
  • Two-vehicle accident on US 171 at Joe Miller Road

    Two-vehicle accident on US 171 at Joe Miller Road

    Friday, June 23 2017 3:34 PM EDT2017-06-23 19:34:11 GMT
    (Source: KPLC)(Source: KPLC)

    State Police are responding to a two-vehicle accident on U.S. 171 at Joe Miller Road, said Sgt. James Anderson, State Police spokesman. Injuries are unknown at this time, said Anderson. KPLC will have more information as it becomes available. Copyright 2017 KPLC. All rights reserved.

    More >>

    State Police are responding to a two-vehicle accident on U.S. 171 at Joe Miller Road, said Sgt. James Anderson, State Police spokesman. Injuries are unknown at this time, said Anderson. KPLC will have more information as it becomes available. Copyright 2017 KPLC. All rights reserved.

    More >>
Powered by Frankly