Thursday, December 13, 2012

Link Crew Final

Consider all that you have done as a Link Leader... What’s next? Literally, what are you going to do with the skills you have started to develop through this semester with Link Crew? DO NOT REFLECT—LOOK FORWARD. Be as specific as possible with your plans for leadership in your future. Make sure to address all three areas of focus from our leadership class: academics, activities, relationships. If you are a returning Link Leader, make to sure to address your two year commitment. Please compose your piece using formal writing and blogging strategies. You will be assessed on content and conventions.


  1. In the future I plan to use the leading skills I’ve learned in Link Crew, while I am in the Army. My Sergeants are already looking for leading skills in their future soldiers and have asked me to do leadership roles; which I’ve succeeded in. In basic all the drill Sergeants are looking for those soldiers that stand out and be a leader; because of Link Crew, I am less shy about telling/advising people what to do and standing up for what is right/or what I believe in; that is what being a leader to me means. I am able to get people to put trust me that I am there for them and won’t let them down when they need someone there for them.
    The three areas of focus: academics, activities and relationships; I will keep in mind throughout my career. Academics will still be apart of my life even if I’m not getting a real grade, and I will continue to take them seriously. Link Crew has taught me that doing good in academics is important to be able to move on with your life (passing high school) and as for me, it’s important to be able to move up in ranks. My recruiting sergeants drill us about getting good grades and also about us learning certain things we need to know for Basic Training (remembering the Soldiers Creed, the terrain features, the ranks, etc.) As I slowly enter my future career in the Army, I sometimes feel as if I won’t have much free time to do an activity that I love. But I know I have to find time for it; during first semester I feel empty, even with Link Crew because it’s hard to make all the activities while working, but then second semester is filled with Lacrosse. And each year I miss it so much, so I can’t imagine what it would be like to not play every year, or to even pick up a stick. So while I’m stationed somewhere I plan to get involved in either passing the ball around with a friend, or start up a new activity like kick boxing. Although I may be over seas, I know it’s important to keep the strong relationships I have today, and even create new ones. Keeping the relationships I have now, whether it be with family or friends, is important; they’re the ones I’ve been with forever and they’re the ones that have stayed through thick and thin. It is also important to make new relationships and find those new friends or maybe significant other that will be there for you till the end as well.
    Link Crew has taught me all of the things about academics, activities and relationships, that I listed above. I will continue to carry the things I’ve learned in Link Crew, into my career in the Military and show others that they can also be a leader. I will also carry these skills onto my children and tell them about my experience of a Link Leader and hope that one day they will want to do what I have.

  2. As a Link Leader I really feel like I didn't do anything to help my freshman. A majority of freshman do not want us to keep bothering them, so I felt like a lot of my efforts were wasted. Overall, I do not think I developed any skills that I did not already have. I already have leadership qualities and a caring attitude, Link Crew simply honed in on them and pushed me to use them at early hours and after school.

    It was not until this past week that I felt like I was having any effect on my freshman. Finally, at least three of my six failing freshman contacted me, telling me about how they got their work in and had raised their grades. Tyler Eaton told me that his grade went from a D to a B. Laura Freirich contacted me telling me how helpful the morning study session was and how she got her grade all fixed. As for the rest of my freshman none of them showed up or seeked any of my help. Until Monday when Kenz Crazier texted me wondering if it would be worth it to come to Cramfest. When she showed up yesterday I sat down with her and her English teacher, Mr. Trotter, and together we worked through her questions about English. These past few weeks have been the only time I felt like I had an effect on my freshman.

    With my leadership skills I plan to continue to let them grow in my other day to day activities, by staying involved and by getting more involved in not only activities but in others lives as well. My involvement in swimming, National Honors Society, Student Council, Second Wind Foundation, DECA, and of course any Link Crew activities next semester will help me use my leadership skills and grow as a person. Most importantly my leadership skills will help me in college as I work to find my own path in life. I must be able to show initiative, courage, and strength in my activities so I can successfully achieve any goals I set my eyes on. I will use my leadership skills in class, activities, and in my friendships throughout life. This class helped mold my leadership skills and that is why it was beneficial to me.

  3. Normally, in my perfect world, I am afraid of change and a obvious struggle that I know I will soon have to face. Starting Link Crew this year, heading to Estes Park with the other commissioners let me in on the knowledge that not only do we get to participate in the fun activities such as heading for a Starbucks then driving to have some fun at an indoor water park. Yet at the same time, we faced the challenge of setting up our class for this year. In my three years in Link Crew, I have seen what really goes into all that Link Crew does.
    Planning our lessons brought me back to last years ideas. The two that stuck out to me most were the Relationship Bank Account by Trotter and the Boundaries lesson from the commissioners. In Trotter's lesson, I learned about investments not only in freshmen but also in those we spend the majority of our time with – friends, family, girlfriends/boyfriends. We as Link Leaders and even more specifically now as commissioners have a responsibility to set the example of being not only those who excel at taking the lessons from the relationship bank account and applying them but also taking them forward into those relationships such as with friends or parents. In terms of using the boundaries lesson, I think that struck me more on a personal level more than anything else. Before that day, I had really not thought of how I felt about anything that serious. Making the list of my boundaries was next to impossible for me. I struggled through it in multiple class periods, trying to think about who I really am on the inside and who I want to be for not only myself but also for others.
    I want to change now. I want to be the best I can be. I want to learn from things like Arenapalooza or the “Rescue” Cramfest. We changed lives in only a few hours, helping those in our own community who needed it most. And with the TeachAIDS project, we learned on the global scale about others struggles in our world. Moving forward is exciting for me, taking that next step but never forgetting where I came from. I will be attending Augustana College in the Fall of 2013. At the school, they partake in a program called NSO, New Student Orientation. In many ways, it is the college level Link Crew. You get acquainted with upper class-men as well getting that much needed inside knowledge and the tips about the school. In my sophomore year, I will definitely apply to be a member of the NSO. I want to be the stepping stone for those new freshmen who need our help the most. I want to keep being the building block that explains through our social lives, our activities and our academics, we complete the necessary “triangle of success.”

  4. Throughout link crew this year I have learned and developed so many skills. I have grown in academics, relationships, and activities. I plan to take my newly refined skills and use them in the future. As I continue on to college and this last semester in high school I am going to continue to grow in my relationships and participate in all the activities I can. Academics are still important so I will continue to work hard in all my classes.
    Since I will be going off to college soon I will have to form all new relationships in school. Link Crew has taught me that all relationships take time and effort. I had not made new friends in a couple of year, but in Link Crew we had to make friends with ten of our link kids. The freshmen were as scared of us as we were of them at times and it showed me that the little things count. You cannot just say hello at events, but you need to be consistent and say hello whenever you see them. I am going to take all I have learned about forming new relationships into college when I meet new people. I might even get the opportunity to form new relationships this next semester. I will continue to talk to my freshmen when I see them and treat our relationship as any one of my friendships.
    Activities are an important and useful tool in school because they help connect you so that you can form relationships. At Arapahoe we are blessed with so many activities to choose from and in college that choice will triple. I have already committed to many activities at Arapahoe for the entire year and I plan to fulfill that commitment. Next year in college I will take the advice I gave to my freshmen this year and get involved. College and high school are similar because everyone starts at the bottom and has to make new relationships. Activities are the thing that can connect you to new people and I want to continue to be involved in college to make the most of my time there.
    Academics continue to loom over all of us in high school even as seniors. I know that once I am in college academics will continue to be very important. If I want to go to medical school I will have to get good grades in all my classes. I am going to keep pushing to get good grades this next semester because I know that if I do it will pay off in ap credit, any wait lists, and college acceptance. It feels like academics should slow down senior year, but thats not true and because I want to succeed I am not going to get senioritis. I may feel tired as a senior, but I am determined not to let my feelings affect my academics. I am excited to graduate, but I know that the academic school year is not over. I will continue to persevere and help any of my freshmen with academics if they need. I will be student assisting in the science office next semester and if there are ever times when I am not needed I will help anyone that needs help in science. I know I appreciated all the upperclassmen and their help with my academics and I want to pay that forward and be available this upcoming semester to anyone that needs help.
    It is easy to leave all we have learned in Link Crew in the classroom, but I plan to take what I've learned and use it to my advantage. Link Crew helped solidify what I have learned from my teachers, parents, and friends. I now feel confident that I can form new healthy relationships, stay involved, and continue to have strong academics.

  5. Link Crew is as much a gift for the leaders as it is for the ones we are leading. This semester has given me the skills to improve my life in all aspects. One of the most important things I do in my life is work at Geneva Glen, a camp I attended for eight years and last year worked at. It has always been my dream since I was seven years old to be a councilor at this camp. Due to this semester in Link Crew I feel confident enough to apply for a counseling position. I know that due to Link Crew I will be a much better councilor. I have learned how to build relations with my coworkers (link partners and other members) and also my bosses (The commissioners and sponsors), I also learned how to build relations with the people I was working for (The school and Freshman) . In school I often question what is the real world applicability, but in Link Crew it is obvious.
    It has also given me a new passion, before Link Crew really picked up I was volunteering at East Elementary, however I was struggling with teaching the kids but through Link Crew I learned a lot about academics, and now I have more fun teaching and they learn it much faster. I know I will continue volunteering due to the strategies I learned in Link Crew. The academics we covered in Link Crew also helped me personally. I learned how to use time management, and study smart not hard. I know that in the future my grades and academic life will be improved because of these strategies I learned.
    I was never completely sold into being a warrior, I would miss school activities such as sport games and assemblies however Link Crew's dedication to Arapahoe High-school and all the activities that occur at our school, rubbed off on me. I now feel more of a warrior then ever and have a greater love for my school that will only grow in the future years. I am excited to help instill this school spirit that Link Crew given to me unto others.
    Out of all the things the future holds, I am very excited and a little worried about my future in Link Crew, I originally thought I would just reapply for the same position however I now see the immense impact Link Crew has and want a bigger role in making it so great. I now know that I will apply to be a commissioner.

  6. The past months of being apart of Link Crew has opened my eyes to different perspectives and ideas. Going forward I plan on spreadin my wings to the great land of college. With that in mind I will be considered a new class of freshman, and eventhough a high school freshman and a college freshman are two different species, they are alike in many ways. Both are transitioning from a much more tame, innocent inviroment to a bigger, scarier version of the previous lower education. You don't know where all your classes are, the campus is so much bigger, there so much more freedom and resposibility packed in one. The though of walking around with the big, bad seniors is terrifying enough. With this in mind, I can apply the teachings of Link Crew to not only myself, but to other college freshmen as well.
    Colleges don't generally have a Link Crew program that help the new incoming classes. Universities just expect you to show up and be ready to go. I will use my Link Crew knowledge to help myself adjust, like learning how to balance school, work, and new activities that perhaps I had not thought of in high school. Other things like being active in the school enviroment is another thing that I will take with me. I will use this idea of involvement to go out and be more social so as have new experiences and to help adjust myself to the feel of college.
    As a freshman, most colleges require that you stay in a dorm your first year which is where things could get awkward the first couple of weeks. New roommates can either go towards phsyco to preppy to normal. Getting to know them and opening up and trying to make friends with your hall neighbors as well might make the year go easier and you never know if you may coincidentally be in a couple of the same classes, too. It doesn't hurt to expand your friend circle, and having been a past Link Crew Leader I can use the techniques I learned to not only get myself involved, but my roommate, class buddies, or even past friends.
    College is considered the transition to the real world, and eventhough in jobs and careers don't give you grades, college grades really do matter. Keeping up with academics is one of the most important aspects of succeeding college. If you really want to be a doctor, but you slack in anatomy, you can't get that degree that you want, and now you have to PAY to take that class again. At least in high school if you fail a class, take it again and have less off periods. In other words, slacking off in college is just not an option and it would be more a more wise decision to use good learning habits that were developed in high school to make it through college. No one wants to take a class multiple time if they don't have to, especially if you have to pay to retake the course.
    Link Crew taught me many valuable lessons that I fully intend on bringing with me on the next step in my journey of growing up. I will take techniques that I had not considered before joining Link Crew, like how to prioritize my resposibilities in order to keep a good balance in my social and academics lives. I will always be thankful for Link Crew and what it has taught me. Thank you.

  7. In terms of next semester, I am going to continue my role as not only a role model for the freshmen class but also for my fellow Link Leaders. At this very moment, someone I greatly respect and hope to see as a commissioner is sitting right next to me. There is talent all across every class at Arapahoe, especially in the aspect of leadership. We are a community that builds each other up and helps each and every fellow peer to success. In the near future, I would like to participate more in projects like TeachAIDS. I want to keep volunteering at my great grandmother's old nursing home where even though she is gone now, I can still play BINGO and bring a smile to someone's face. I want to participate with my family in the Heifer Project where you donate money that pays for a family to have an animal given to them such as a cow for milk or chickens for food and eggs. My long term goal would be to finally participate in a Habitat for Humanity build. I've seen the smile on someone's face as they enter their new home, no matter how big or small or the color or the furniture. Just to know that there are people in this world who give up their busy schedule to provide someone with much needed shelter makes my heart flinch – I want to change lives. In want to play a role as a leader and an example for my peers and for my friends and family.
    I want to move forward. I want to take anything the “Rescue” Cramfest to the Relationship Bank Account and build to something like TeachAIDS or Habitat for Humanity. I can't describe the feeling, after the work and the struggle, to even see that one person light up inside, graciously thanking those who have just altered their future. I want to be on the receiving end of the smile. I want to move on. Leader, Commissioner, A-Team member, I have made a difference across this school. And that doesn't end here.

  8. Part 1
    During my experience in Link Crew, I have learned many leadership skills that will help me in the future. I have learned how to lead people to succeed by giving them advice and tips.
    In academics I have learned how important it is to teach my freshman the basic skills they need to get by. Also, being a leader for my freshman has also given me motivation to focus more on my grades so that I am a good role model and so that I practice what I preach. Teaching my peers about how to be successful in school will help me throughout my career as a student. Next semester, as well as next year as a Senior, I will be able to use these skills to help my peers when we are studying for a test or doing a group project. Also, in college the study skills I have learned this year can be transferred over to help me succeed and be the best I can be.
    Throughout Link Crew, I have participated in many activities that have allowed me to challenge myself. I think that as a leader it is important to put yourself out of your comfort zone in order to widen your horizons. While attending service projects and student events such as Bag Stuffing for the Littleton Stride and the Freshman Tailgate party, I was able to do things that I normally do not. While doing service for Littleton Stride, for example, I was put into a leadership position to tell my peers what to do even though I didn't really know what to do. However this difficulty allowed me to practice my leadership skills and confidence. Next semester, I am planning on participating in more community service projects than I have the previous years I have been in high school. My mom occasionally works at a Women's Soup Kitchen and before Link Crew I have always been a bit scared to go because I didn't know what to expect, however with my new confidence to put myself out of my comfort zone, I am ready to do service for my community. I will be able to take up the leadership position if necessary and make everything run smoothly. Also, this summer my sister and I are planning on going on a service trip in Thailand. Although I have done service projects like this before, Thailand is a completely different culture than I am used to. Therefore, I will be put into a lot of positions and situations that I may not be comfortable in. However, using my confidence and skills as a leader, I will be able to successfully deal with any conflicts that arise while I am over there.

  9. Going into Link Crew this year, I was not sure what to expect. I knew I was there to help freshmen, but what I did not know, was that I would learn new leadership skills that I will be able to use in my future. My new leadership skills will be useful in all three areas that we focused on this year, including academics, activities and in my future relationships. All three of these categories relate to link crew and to future situaions.
    In academics, I have huge decisions to make in the future, like what college do I want to go to? What do I want to major in? Not only do I have to chose colleges, but I also have to be okay with a completely new lifestyle. With these new skills, I will look at everything that is thrown at me academicly as an a new opertunity. In the next year and a half of high school, I hear it becomes harder and harder to stay academicly involved, but being in link crew has helped me to remember the importance of sticking with my academics and important grades are. Through watching the freshmen struggle, but continue to try by coming in and getting help, I have been inspired. Not only to make sure I keep up with my academics,but as well as with the freshmen. Being a leader means helping yourself as well as others.
    In my activities, leadership will be a great skill to have. From link crew I have learned a positive attidute is what is needed in order to make it through a zero hour class, and that is true for outside activities. For me personally, it is with swimming. I have learned the importance of sticking to it, and never giving up. Although link crew was very difficult at times, every link leader helped one another to get through it. It is the same on my team. A little encouragement can go a long way. Through the TeachAids program, I have learned to be thankful for what I have, and even when times get rough, someone will always be there to help you out if you are always willing to help someone else out as well. Just as the link leaders helped the freshmen become comfortable at Arapahoe, the freshmen helped us leaders grow as people. Just as a team. As I become a senior, I hope to become captain and help the team learn these skills of always sticking up for one another.
    Link crew has had a huge impact on my relationships. Not only did we form relationships with the freshmen, we formed relationships with our fellow link leaders. We had to learn how to work with our link partners and learn how to communicate. The biggest skill I have learned from Link crew is that athough people may not always show it, having someone who cares about how you are doing in school is very important. Many of my freshmen did not reply to my texts I sent out to them, or did not come to the events I invited them to, but I know that me reaching out to them helped them feel more comfortable in this new enviornment. In the future I willl make sure to always try to form relationships with whoever I can. Relationships may be one of the most important things to sustaining a happy life. In future uncomfortable situations, such as college, I will make myself available to whoever needs me.
    Overall, Link crew has not only helped the freshmen better adapt to high school, but it has helped me as well.

  10. Going forward, leadership cannot be under-rated. The world is a fertile environment for those that are willing and able to take charge, and I look forward to harvesting that grain. However, this grain can be soured by poor intentions. Fortunately, Link Crew has showed me to be a positive leader, helping those in need. I plan on utilizing these skills that I have honed this year to make all of the clubs in which I am involved affective and efficient. These include Link Crew next year. I look forward to making new friends next year with the incoming freshmen, because I know that they will be susceptible to an outstretched hand.

    I take pride in being able to help my peers in academics. Students young and old ask me for help on their studies, a request I am more than happy to oblige. I am a sucker for knowledge, and showing other people how powerful it can be is one of life's greatest rewards. I don't like to see my friends performing poorly in class, and take a consistent effort to help them to better themselves. Looking forward, as I learn more, I can help others more with their grades and classwork. I can't claim to know it all; as the adage goes, the more you know, you more you know you don't know. However, the closer I come to mastery in the subjects taught at school, the more effective of a tutor and mentor for others I can be. This prospect truly excites me, as I relish the sight of others succeeding.

    This semester has taught me to handle adversity affectively while trying to help others. This skill has and will prove to be invaluable in the coming years. Dealing with adversity positively has turned out to be rather useful in many leadership situations. Not everyone will agree with a leader's decisions all the time. In the future, I look forward to holding numerous leadership positions within and without the school. I can call the Arapahoe Herald mine without a hint of trepidation, because I know that my efforts within the staff are bona fide and important. Next year, I plan on being in a position of leadership beyond what I have this year, and this involves being an integral part of staff decisions. I am not naive enough to think that I will never encounter adversity towards my leadership. Luckily, this semester of Link Crew and years of membership to staff have prepared me for such a position. I welcome the challenges ahead, because I am confident that I can handle whatever life has to offer.

    Most importantly, however, I have learned to be a good role model and friend to those who look up to me. These relationships mean more than any skill derived from this class. I have numerous friends in the class of 2016, and they are some of my most rewarding relationships I have had in recent years. These friends never hesitate to say hi in the hallways or ask for help on an assignment, which always brightens my day. These friends come from speech and debate, newspaper, my design 1 class, and across the halls. This year, I have used the “Don't worry, I'm Link Crew, so it's normal for me to talk to you randomly” line over and over, and more often than not, it has resulted in a new friendship. To me, embodying the Link Crew spirit has been an fantastic journey to meet new freshmen. In the future, I plan on using that same excuse to make friends next year. It's a wonder how far a little pinch of outgoing can go towards making meaningful relationships.

    For this, I can say thank you. Thank you for the opportunity to foster powerful relationships among students at the school. I have been astonished by the sense of community that has emerged from the hallways in a simple “Hi.” These actions always brighten my day. The skills I have learned this semester in Link Crew have made me a better person; these skills will brighten many pathways in my future. The road ahead is not a straight one, but rather crooked, full of dark corners and thick brambles. I look forward to the journey, for nothing is more rewarding than finding the path broken apart by the sun.

  11. Part 2
    The best part about Link Crew in my eyes was all the strong relationships I've created with my peers and my Freshman. Throughout this semester I have built such strong bonds with people that I wouldn't have thought were possible. As a leader, I have realized that the strongest bonds are formed when you are thrown into a new situation with somebody. This causes each person to be caught a little off guard, therefore, I learned that I really have to work well with the other people in my group to get things done. Instead of letting small social barriers get in the way of who you talk to, these situations allow people to bond over a common goal. This knowledge will likewise help me in Thailand when I am first introduced to the other kids on the trip with me. At first we will all naturally feel very awkward and guarded, however as soon as we start working towards a common goal, we will be able to grow more comfortable with each other. Link Crew has taught me how to do this in a manner that will allow complete success. I have learned that it takes patience to get things done in a group and well as confidence that it will get done. I can use these skills while working with a group and this will help us all get along and get the job done.
    Ultimately, Link Crew has open my eyes to how to successfully be a leader and how to get the job done. By participating in different activities, I have become more comfortable with my own leadership skills, therefore this new confidence will transfer over to other situations when I am put into leadership positions throughout my life.

  12. Part 1
    As a two year Link Leader I have been able to learn a lot about myself as a leader. In the first year I learned that despite not being a morning person, I am able to function at 6 in the morning, that there are different types of “fruits” to make up your personality and all different types of leaders. With another year experience I learned deeper into how I can lead without specifically trying to be a leader at times. For example, leading by example. This year I have seen and experienced different times outside of Link Crew when other students are watching me and my actions as their leader. One of my freshmen was in the library during one of my off hours, after doing my homework for around 20 minutes she came up to me and asked if she could do her homework with me. Of course I said yes and after a little we started talking and she told me that she didn't realize how many people did homework during this time because none of her friends did. At that moment I realized how important not only my words, but especially my actions were to be a good leader. As a leader I will continue to take this important lesson and work on being a leader through example.
    In the future I want to continue to be a leader and take the skills I have learned from Link Crew. I am not 100% sure how this will pan out though since I am still undecided as to where I am going to be next year but I do know it will be acting as a positive influence on others. I will continue to make grades important to myself, that way I can appropriately stress their importance to others and be able to help them when they need it. I also plan on staying very involved in where I end up going to college. Even if I am not the designated “leader” of a club or activity like I am this year I can once again lead through example and get others involved in the school. These activities will help me create new connections with others where I want to be seen as a responsible, respectful and nice person. I can use other lessons I have learned from life and Link to achieve this goal, like always being respectful of others around me and being open to everyone I meet.

  13. Link Crew has taught me an immense amount of leadership skills. Coming into the class, I would have never expected there to be so many different methods and tricks to being a good leader. Not to mention all of the effort that it takes to help someone, and every ounce of effort is worth it. After high school, I am planning on becoming a doctor. Knowing all of the skills Link Crew has taught me, I will be able to apply them to my journey and attempt of becoming a doctor. As a doctor, I would be able to have a leadership role in saving peoples' lives. All three areas of focus from leadership class fit perfectly into the job of being a doctor.
    First, academics play a key part in becoming a doctor. The educational road to becoming an M.D. is very rigorous and difficult. I have learned how to help my freshmen become better students, however, at the same time, I too have improved as a student. Methods disscussed in class can be a huge help to me in my future. The MCAT is a very demanding test, and it will take a huge effort on my part to pass it. Study techniques like flash cards and repition will aid me in my quest for success.
    Next, activities are a major component towards being a doctor. Volunteering is a significant deciding factor in my acceptance into medical school. All of the activities I have attended this year have not only shown me how fun volunteering can be, but have also motivated me to helping out more in the future. While I may not necessarily be able to apply the same activities in the medical field, I will be able to create my own methods of contribution. I now know how much voluntary help can be for a particular person.
    Finally, relationships will forever be a part of my future. Link Crew has supplied me with this realization that human life is based off of relationships. It doesn't matter what I decide to do in my future, I will still be interacting with other people. I have seen how even the smallest of effort and support can alter a relationship. My goals are to be the best friends, daughter, sister etc. to all people that I will encounter in my life. With my patients (if I become a doctor), I will have regular encounterences with them. Our relationship will consist of guidance, and support from one another. I find that if am looking for someone's support I will also need their trust. Having to build the trust of my freshmen, I expect, will be alot like having to build trust with my patients. It will require a lot of time and effort, and if it saves lives, every second of every minute is worth it.
    Through leadership class, I will be able to more assuredly succeed in my future endevors. I am excited to apply my knowledge on a larger scale. I hope to be the best leader I can be, and help as many people as possible. Each area of leadership class will significantly aid me in my journey to becoming a doctor.

  14. Part 2
    In the next year I have also come to terms with the fact that I am not going to be at the same school with all of my friends, from Link I have learned that despite not seeing someone everyday, or even as often as you want you can keep in contact with people and grow relationships through Facebook or texting. Link Crew also taught me that you can grow relationships through leaving little goodie bags filled with candies or writing birthday cards to show you truly care. With my friends and family that I will be leaving behind I can send them little care packages or handwritten cards on their special day to continue to show them I care and grow the friendship I have with them even if we are miles apart.
    Link Crew has helped me grow as a leader and an individual and I will continue to use the lessons that I have learned in the class for not only the next year but the rest of my life. Link has shown me that despite as much as you think you know, there is always more that you can learn. For example I have seen the Link program itself change in the past two years as this year was much more dedicated to academics than it was last year. I'll take this lesson with me to college as I continue to learn and love it, realizing that despite how many years I go to school there will always be something new for me to learn about.

  15. This comment has been removed by the author.

  16. My first semester as a Link Crew leader has taught me leadership skills in academics, activities and relationships that I will continue to use throughout the rest of the school year and the rest of my life.

    Personally, I have never struggled with academics but Link Crew made me realize that not everybody is as lucky. I learned to be understanding of kids that may be struggling with academics and that sometimes that little extra push is all a person needs to do better or try harder. I will continue to use these leadership skills to push my own link crew kids, as well as my fellow students, to achieve everything they can and push threw the struggle. I will lead by example by setting high standards for myself and making sure that I try my very best to maintain a positive attitude, even in the face of a challenge. I will continue to offer all the help I can give to anyone who is willing to try and lead them to some degree of success.

    I also learned that sometimes school isn't just about academics and that being involved in activities at Arapahoe is just as important. I will continue to encourage my kids and my peers to participate in all the amazing events Arapahoe offers. From the basketball games, to Cram-fest to all the great clubs we have at our school, I will invite my fellow warriors to join me in taking part in these activities. I will also stay balanced and focused on all my other responsibilities and encourage them to do the same.

    My favorite type of leadership I have gained this semester is leadership in relationships. I will continue to reach out to my fellow students as well as my fellow human beings and make sure that everyone is doing the best they can. I will be compassionate and understanding of the situations of others and offer whatever I am able to give whether that be a hug, advice or just that extra push they need to achieve everything they are capable of. I will pay attention to all my relationships and be respectful of both their time and mine. I will be a leader in maintaining positive relationships, raising others up and never pulling them down, and I will make it my goal to put as many drops in other peoples buckets as humanly possible. I will stay honest and helpful and most of all, a leader in every area including, academics, activities and relationships.

  17. Link crew has taught me a lot, way more than I honestly thought it would. The things I have learned, I can take to all aspects of my future. As I start to get accepted into colleges and think about which I might actually attend, I have to realize all of the changes that are inevitably are going to occur. In fact, Link Crew has not only prepared me to help freshman through their first year here at Arapahoe High School, it has prepared me for my future. I am ready to lead others, but most importantly, myself, through life.
    I wish I had figured out how important homework is my freshman year. I just took it slowly, instead of trying my absolute hardest. I know that I could've done much better, but now after going through leadership class, I have learned to sit down and just do my homework. I know the work load is going to increase immensly in college and I'm going to want to do other things besides my homework. But just as we have learned to teach some of the freshman this semester, balance is key. I have finally learned that if I do my homework early at night, I have plenty of time to watch tv or even nap. Academics are more important that some people think. I need to do well for the rest of my school career in order to succeed in the future and my career.
    Even though school work is important, so is participating in fun events. I can't wait to see what I am going to be able to do in the future, even just next semester. I hope that I will still be able to participate in Link Crew events because I did enjoy them. The events made me feel good about myself, knowing that I was actually there to help people who chouldn't do it on their own. I am planning on helping in the study center maybe once a week and possible tutoring, as well as the other events that Link Crew will have second semester, hopefully. I also cannot wait to participate in many events in college.
    The future is a scary thing. I have no idea of what is going to happen when I go to college, or even where I'm going. The idea of leaving my family and friends firghtens me so much. But this is just another thing I have learned in Link Crew. I have learned that I have to make an effort to keep all of my relationships, with my family, friends, and even my link kids. I also have to be open to making new ones. Link crew makes you be more outgoing, which is such a great thing. I have learned to be more extraverted and be open to talk to new people that I don't know. I have to be willing to help people that I don't necessarily know. But I love that I can do that now. I have always felt that I have potential to lead people. I love being the volleyball player on the court that is leading the team. This concept has also helped me in life, as well as link crew. Some days you have to be the only one talking, with others listening. This used to frighten me, but now I'm completely fine with having all eyes on me.
    In short, Link Crew has taught me many life skills. It has taught me to put academics as a priority, but yet to participate in many activities, only after my homework is complete. It has also taught me to keep realtionships, which I will continue with my kids, unlike my liknk leaders. I will talk to them and keep my offer up to be here for whatever and anything they need. But most importantly link crew has taught me how to lead.

  18. Over the past two years, Link Crew has been an incredible learning experience over the past two years. I have learned from the classes, other leaders, teachers, my freshmen and myself. I think the importance of this year is not what I have done, but what I will do in the future. I plan to be a leader at the college or university that I attend. By a leader, I mean that I plan to be student body president of that school. I know this is not directly an extension of Link Crew and Link crew activities but let me explain what my intentions are with my newly developed and changed leadership.
    A student body president must first and foremost be a leader in the classroom. Academics are the premier reason that we go to college. Hopefully, it will give of us the knowledge necessary to receive jobs and lead us toward the future that each of desire and wish to see. The Link Crew academics portion of the class, I was reminded of the importance of studying and helping to teach others to study. At many universities, students have not learned to study because they have never had to. Classes have always been easy for them and they never had to learn the valuable skill of studying. In class, I believe that we fail or succeed as a class. I have been a person who has struggled and worked very hard in each and every class I have been in. I will continue to share my studying knowledge by explaining how I effectively use notecards and word games to memorize facts and knowledge. I also think that to be an intelligent leader in the classroom as the student body president of a university should be, I believe that students should participate in the classroom. Often, it takes a leader to voice their opinion before people will open up and be honest and willing to participate. I intend to be that person. I learned that this part of who I am through my personal mission statement. Academics are important to being a successful leader in college, however there are many other aspects that are necessary for me to succeed in my goals.
    Last year in Link Crew, I was forced to learn a valuable lesson. I was unable to work well with my partner and I had to make things work. We did not know how to work with each other and disagreed on almost everything. This lesson was one that was not easily learned, as I have been known to be egotistical evolving nearly everything I do. Since then, Link Crew has changed me. I believe that it will be a necessary skill with working with other leaders on my executive council in college. Understanding that other’s ideas and inputs are equally important to those of my own allows for a student government or council to function efficiently and to the best of it’s ability requires cooperation from the highest leader and it trickles down. Furthermore, I learned how to connect with people quickly by bonding with my freshmen. I have become friends with many of them and the friendship had lead to a better mentorship than it would have if I had done it as a job. I believe this skill is necessary because I have a vision to connect several student councils and student governments around the country to create a stronger, well-connected group of leaders. In order to succeed and make this dream a reality, I must be able to meet these other leaders who will certainly come from a myriad of backgrounds, including different families, varying financial backgrounds and differing family lifestyles. Every person has a story and to connect with him or her, I must be willing to hear each and every story.

  19. As a Link Leader, I learned the importance of cooperation, leadership, and aiding others in time of need. Link Crew has opened my mind to a new way of conducting myself. I have acquired new skills and characteristics that not only will help me throughout the future, but others as well.
    I hope to use these skills in the near future, specifically during my lacrosse season. For the past two years I've played lacrosse at Arapahoe, I've sat back and let others on the team do the leading, usually just following the directions of those older than me. However, this year I am determined to use my new-found leadership skills to become a leader of my team. Being an upperclassmen, I will now have the responsibility of letting, not only the underclassmen, but others on the team know that I am here to support them in whatever struggles they may encounter during second semester. Throughout the lacrosse season, I hope to maintain this sense of leadership. I want to be consistent with my influence on others as I believe I have been with the freshman. I also hope to develop strong relationships with the players on my team, as I have with my freshman during first semester.

  20. My national student government will have the ability to help participate in philanthropy on a scale that is seldom known to each university. One of the first projects I would start would be a water project for developing countries. A lack of clean water is one of the world’s most pressing problems. More people die from unsanitary water or just lack of water than from many of the diseases that people fundraise for. Through the use of many universities being led first by the national student government and then by the student councils at each university, college students would be able to change the lives of millions and help themselves. As I said in my mission statement, “…I put others before myself…” I truly believe that this is the way that every human should live. If every person puts others before themselves, many of the world’s problems would begin to be solved. It could all start with the water project, where students would have the opportunity to give up all beverages, excluding water, and take the money that they would normally put toward those luxuries and put it toward the use of clean water for others.
    My goal is to not just help those that I do not know but also to help those that I do know, or that I am connected to in someway. If I am to be a leader at a university, I must know and understand the individuals that make up my constituents. They are the people who will have elected me and voted me into the office. Every individual is different in varying ways. I must first discover the best way to talk to individuals, every person is different and every person who I meet has a different story. Many people do not realize that a student government in college operates far differently from those in high school. While in high school, you may participate in some philanthropy; the primary job often ends up being an event planner. Planning dances, days and other weeks that students look forward to is great and is great as developing a leader. However, as a student body president, I will be given an allotted sum of money, often upwards of a million dollars. This money is used for the development of activities and groups as I see fit. This is a large sum of money and I intend to make it count. I learned to work with many different people in Link Crew. Some of their backgrounds and ways of life I don’t always agree with or understand but I must incorporate their believes into my allotment of money and resources. It is not about what I believe but instead about what each individual believes and desires.
    Link Crew has been a valuable asset to my skills as a leader. Individuals count, their beliefs count and so do the connections and bonds that I will form. As a student body president in college, I will not stray from my morals or ethics but will be open to the ideas of others and will always look forward to the challenges that lay ahead. Every bump and bruise will be worth it because you cannot reach the top without getting knocked down first. Each and every event is significant, we must understand that it is all part of the plan and that we must take it with a grain of salt.

  21. Not only am I determined to portray my leadership skills on the field, but I also hope to continue this trend during school. I will be peer tutoring in the study center during 5th hour on Tuesday during second semester. Through this experience, I hope to be able to aid those struggling in classes, and hopefully improve the grades of a few students at Arapahoe. Hopefully, I will be able to encourage kids to maintain good grades and strive for success despite a hard course load or lack of understanding of the curriculum. I'm excited to continue to help with academics and relationships even without Link Crew initiating these activities. I believe that I now have the knowledge to extend what I was taught during Link Crew into my daily life as well.
    I also hope to continue the relationships with freshman even during second semester. I plan to attend activities such as plays and sports events in order to maintain my relationship with the freshman as well as support them in their involvement in school. I will continue to greet them in the hallways and check in with them through text messages. Hopefully, they will be successful during second semester, but I will continue to stay involved in their lives so that they will be aware that both my link partner and I are here for them throughout any struggles, whether it's school or home related.
    Link Crew has encouraged me to be better, both through my actions and influence on others. I have become more conscience of others and their struggles during life, the importance of hard work, and the ability to make and maintain connections with others. I hope to utilize these learnings throughout my future in order to be a more successful leader, friend, and overall human being. Link Crew has had a huge impact on the way I think about my relationships, academics, and involvement in the Arapahoe Community, that I will continue to pursue throughout my life.

  22. Zero hour classes are fantastic! I actually think I will continue rising early next semester, so as to be better prepared to face each day. I learned at Link Crew that I am a “lark” rather than an “owl”, and should schedule my day to better accommodate this characteristic. Looking forward I hope to apply the skills I honed in Link Crew this semester to dance, swimming, and school. As part of Link Crew we focused on three areas: academics, activities, and relationships; however, we were limited during class to only focus on one area at a time. In the future I want to integrate all three of these topics into my leadership activities at the same time.
    Because Link Crew forced me to develop stronger social ties outside my comfort zone, I look forward to continuing to grow my relationships with my freshman and others that I regularly come in contact with, but may never have known well. As a longtime dancer and dance teacher, I often help teach a teens class and an adult class. The experience Link Crew gave me will help me speak to them in more personal terms to help develop these friendships. The constant interaction with people of all ages, from different schools or jobs, makes it more important to grow healthy relationships. The personality tests we did in Link Crew helped me realize where I can easiest improve these relationships. As a natural introvert (according to the Johari's window) I know that I need small amounts of time between my activities to recharge and work better in my academics and my relationships.
    Although swimming often seems to just be a sport, it is a small example activities, relationships, and academics working together. During meets there is a lot of down time between individual events. Girls enjoy cheering on friends and working on homework while waiting. Finding the balance between these actions and focusing on individual events exemplifies what we tried to do throughout Link Crew. Cheering on friends and other peers encourages strong relationships, finishing homework supports successful academics, and indulging in personal traditions (swimmers are superstitious too) helps individual activities. This year I am a JV captain and I feel that Link Crew has well prepared me to get to know the other swimmers. Many new freshman and sophomores remain shy throughout the season. A kind word here or there, or cheering for them during their hardest event helps bring each one out of her shell. Once this initial bond is created, helping them with the other aspects of their life, whether it's school, relationships, or activities, becomes much easier. I plan on cultivating the team unity during the season and I will try to maintain these relationships after the season ends.
    Personally, the school balancing act continues to cause me trouble as I try to do everything. On top of the regular school work, I dance most days of the week and swim Monday through Friday. I actively participate in the AHS theater. This year I am stage managing the musical, Brigadoon, at the same time I prepare to travel to Boston for the Irish Dancing Worlds. Three families regularly call me for babysitting work and I enjoy spending time with my family and friends. I perfected the art of prioritizing this semester and I want to continue to use this strategy to give each of my activities the attention it deserves.
    I really enjoyed being able to participate in Link Crew this semester. My favorite part was building relationships with some of my freshmen. While some of them rejected our contact after the first few weeks, I see several on a regular basis and enjoy chatting with them and helping them with anything. I will strive to uphold the values of Link Crew as I head off to college and beyond.

  23. When one thinks of Link Crew, the typical thought goes to that of the well-being and development of the freshmen we make contact with. What one would not think of so readily is the immense impact Link Crew has on the upperclassmen individuals interacting with the new students. Throughout the semester, I found myself greatly enjoying time spent with my Freshmen in my group. Getting to know them was always an interesting experience to say the least. Although Joe and I had a few freshmen who went to orientation and made sure they would never make real contact with us again, the kids who did decide to say hello to us in the hallways and to join us on escapades truly warmed my heart. While I sound rather embarrassingly parental, growing an actual relationship with the students and watching them grow their own relationships was truly an memorable experience. Watching each one form friendships and even romantic relationships made me feel comfortable in saying that the children in our group adjusted to a social life at Arapahoe very nicely and quickly. Next semester and all through my senior year, I hope to be able to keep these relationships and help each of them create healthy and long lasting relationships with each other and themselves. The way these kids have shown me how easily many of them can make friends has proven to me that as a big sister, I really don't need to worry as much about my younger siblings in their endeavors, as there are still plenty of good, friendly children out there for them to socialize with.
    In a personal feat, the month we spent learning about activities and balancing our time was rather well-timed. Throughout this school year, I have challenged myself to be busier than ever before. Between having a job, the ever growing mountain of schoolwork, a social life, Link Crew, Theater, family time, and a boyfriend, there isn't much time to spend sleeping or wasting time. The class periods we spent discussing prioritizing and balancing different activities helped me to pick and choose what I needed to spend most of my time on. I regret saying that Link Crew was not in my top two priorities, unlike many of the commissioners. I hope wholeheartedly that this did not affect my Freshmen in a negative way; from the condition of most of them, I would say it did not. While scheduling and over commitment was a problem for me this semester, I hope to use the new semester as a chance to re-prioritize and to make a bearable, comfortable “to-do list” for the rest of my high school career. I would love to be able to share these skills and pieces of advice that I have gained through Link Crew to share with underclassmen, my friends, and family members.
    This past semester, I learned that I lived in an academic bubble. I had no idea as to how much many people struggled so incredibly with their schooling. The pages and pages of freshmen who were failing a class caused me much surprise and heartache. I could not imagine the stress I would feel while having a failing grade. I want to be able to help my freshmen, friends, cousins, and siblings through any harsh grades they may encounter and learn to counter that with hard work and dedication. Schooling may not be the only point in life, but succeeding in it will most definitely lay the foundations for a successful future. I also learned how to study for history classes, which was an important skill I found would be incredibly helpful in my A.P. And honors social studies classes in which I am enrolled in.
    Going into Link Crew, I did not fully expect to be attached to this experience, yet I found it to be very rewarding, and one that will make for a successful ride on the rocky, gravelly road ahead, which we all call life.

  24. As a two-year Link Crew Leader, I have discovered my strengths as a leader, as well as what it truly means to be a leader. After my junior year I realized that kids throughout the school respected me for my leadership role in Link. Underclassmen saw me as a refuge and a safe place to ask for help. I love helping others assimilate to a new environment (such as high school), and that is why I decided to do Link again my senior year. This being said, I intend to apply my new set of leadership skills to my future academics, activities, and relationships.
    As I leave for college next year, I intend to be more vocal in class, voice my own opinions, and actively engage in conversations more so than I have during my time at Arapahoe (I tend to be more introverted). This is how I will act as leader in class. By truly focusing on getting my studying and other homework done before I hang out with friends or do other activities, a certain tone is set for my friends and teachers, They will see that to achieve academic successful, it is not always fun and takes hard work and dedication, but it is always worth the effort. This shows to my teachers and my classmates that I am taking the class and my academic schedule seriously, and other students could see my example and hopefully follow that example to be successful as well.
    College offers a multitude of activities to participate in, and one of those for me, in particular, is soccer. On my college soccer team (once I decide a college that is), I intend to show myself as a leader by working hard to prove my talents everyday on the field as well as respecting and accepting constructive criticism from my coach. As a freshman, it may seem difficult to be a leader as it will be my first year on the team, but I think I will stand out even more as a leader if I constantly push both myself and my team to be better and work harder at such a young age. By always striving to achieve that next level of play I believe I will show that I am a leader because of my caring attitude towards the team, and showing care is a large part of being a leader. Such care shows that someone is emotionally invested in the well-being of someone or something else (in this case my team).
    Relationships within the next year are going to radically change, as I will forge new friendships and attempt to keep the old ones. I will constantly text, Skype, FaceTime, send a carrier pigeon or whatever is necessary to stay in touch with my current friends. My leadership skills are shown here as I am taking an initiative to not simply see those friendships waste away. This will not be easy as after high school friends depart in so many different directions, but anything worth doing almost never easy. I am showing my friends by constantly staying in touch that I deeply care and want to continue to be part of their lives. Being a leader does not simply mean that you have the ability for people to follow your example, but that you genuinely care about others and will stop at nothing to do what truly is best for others. This is same reason for why I chose to apply for a second year of Link my senior year. I saw that what I was doing in the school for freshmen and other students was bigger than myself, and the lives of the people I touched, even in the littlest sense, changed for the better. It is hard not to become wrapped up in the chaos and materialistic world of high school, but Link Crew helped to ground me and developed me into the person I am proud to be today.

  25. Link Crew has added to my personality and is going to help me move forward as a better person and leader.
    Since my skills have increased involving relationships, I will use them in college and later on in life to make better bonds with those that surround me. I think and hope that using these skilling will allow me to teach others how to make strong relationships so they too can go forward in life so that they are surrounded with people the love and trust like I am.
    The activities that Link Crew has been involved with has allowed me to realize that I have to continue to stay involved wherever I go. Getting involved not only allows me to make new friends, but to also feel apart of where I am. Knowing this I can encourage others around me to do the same and to reach out to others that are timid and quite like me. I can help them realize how important it is to get involved and how much fun it can be once you've tried it.
    Academics have become so important in helping move forward with my life, and this year I realized how much other do not understand how important they are. I have the abilities to help others with improving their academic life and will continue to help other in any way that I can. Especially in mathematics because I that is the subject I am best at. A grade is a grade and once its final you cannot change that. I will also use the skills I have developed to help myself become a better student.
    Since this is my second year as a Link Crew leader, I have increased the knowledge that I already had in to becoming a better leader. I will use the knowledge from both years to make myself a better person. Last year we focused on different areas which I will continue to use while making new commitments and relationships.
    Next semester although Link Crew will not meet every week, I am going to do my best to keep in touch with the freshman I have connected with and continue to aid them in any way I can using what I have learned in my two years as a Link Crew leader; and hopefully pick up new skills on leading along the way.
    I hope to continue on to college and become apart of a similar concept as Link Crew at Colorado Mesa University after going through the program as a freshman, I hope to become apart of a it and use the skills that I have learned in Link Crew and the new things I will learn to make myself a even better leader. And while doing so, sharing my knowledge in this subject with others around me. Being a better leader will allow me to branch out my social circle more and have great opportunities for me to become apart of.

  26. Through this semester in Link Crew I have acquired many leadership skills I hope to utilize in the future. I have learned how to help others in effective ways, show strong leadership in groups and how to maintain and create meaningful relationships with those around me. I will strive to use what I have learned to make myself an all-around better leader in all that I do.
    In the future, I will try to use the skills I learned in Link Crew to take on more leadership roles. I learned how to be effective in my aid to others and be both encouraging and realistic. It also taught me how to be confident in leadership roles and take charge when I need to. Before Link Crew I was very passive and allowed others to decide for me even when I had good ideas of my own. I would be very passive when dealing with group projects and my participation on sports teams. After learning all the skills I did, I will no longer be a passive follower, but an inspired leader.
    I learned in regards to academics, how to encourage others to be successful. I learned that the knowledge I have acquired over the years is actually very helpful when I communicate it to others. Knowing this will help me to help others. These skills can carry over into my relationships and help me to be, again, less passive. Link Crew taught me the importance of maintaining strong relationship and making a significant impact on others. I will be more conscious about making an impact on others and making it a positive one. Link Crew also taught me how to act as a leader when I deal with others. Especially in regards to lacrosse I will attempt to be more of a leader because Link taught me I am very capable of doing so. During all of the activities over the semester, I have been placed in situations that require me to act, not follow. I couldn't rely on others to take over, but rather, I had to be the one in charge. Being a leader requires a certain degree of confidence and faith in yourself, which I believe Link Crew has instilled in me. I hope to utilize everything I have learned to be a leader in my own life.
    Link Crew has equipped me with many skills and more importantly, confidence. Before Link Crew I was a follower, but after this semester I feel more and more like a leader. In the road ahead I hope to continue to be a strong leader that makes a significant impact on others.

  27. With being a Link Crew leader for the first time I have learned some leadership tactics. Leadership has taught me to always help others around me even when there are obstacles that get in the way. For example when the freshmen were failing classes it was very hard for me to approach my freshmen and help them get back on track. In the end I realized that even when you are approaching a hard task to never give up. With having leadership every week I have learned to get involved more even if it means to crawl out of my comfort zone. Teaching the freshmen to get involved was a great learning experience for me as an individual. I feel very privileged to have been able to share that with them. Getting involved can be very scary especially going into a different environment. When you have gotten involved then you start to develop the best relationships with others around you that last throughout your high school years. Building relationships in high school is very important because it helps with leadership skills by helping you build a strong foundation for yourself. Also relationships teach you how to interact with others. By being a leader I have learned to overcome the fear of interacting with people because without interaction it's going to be struggle in my future when I get out in the real world. Link Crew has taught me ways to improve my life but others also.
    By learning all the leadership tactics from Link Crew I am going to strive to do things with my tactics. One thing I am going to do is volunteer at places that need the most help at least once a month. Volunteering is very important to me because I want to help others around me that need help. I am also going to help and encourage others around me when they need help. I have learned that leadership is about encouraging others to do good even when they are struggle with either life or school. I have struggled with math and realized to never give up even when I don't understand something. When others hear encouraging words it makes them want to try even harder plus makes them feel ten times better about themselves. I am also going to build stronger relationships with my close friends. I have a good relationship with my friends, but I would like to make them stronger. I am going to be more optimistic towards them and try my hardest to hang out with them more often to build my relationship. I feel very privileged to have been a Link Crew leader which has helped me with my life and better my leadership tactics.

  28. Link-Crew an obstacle I was fresh to this year; a year long commitment an enormous positive reinforcement, offered on my life. Leadership is an idea that was persistently distant from me, now was slightly different, closer more accessible, Link-Crew has offered commentaries and ideas about many of lifes ideas; shaping and altering my perception of the word ‘leadership.” now the daunting question, “what next”?

    First, to start the next big thing for me is ministry. Through learning and adapting to relationships where the willingness to offer depth, isn’t given, something almost to be earned, its really swayed my mental standpoint on my career choice and what I’m going to major in, in college. Succeeding in making worthwhile decisions, is a huge underlying goal that will carry over into the preceding years, for something to ponder on daily basis for a self analysis and if I’m taking steps in the right direction. Working with the freshman often times required a lot of analysis and reflection, because you had to approach the “circumstances” acutely. Through the years activities and involvement in the community, I felt right at home, like some kind of divine calling. The major idea of letting peoples smiles be your reward as deeply resonated with my spirit, in a “field”, where success couldn’t be measured accurately or at all. This idea of continually working towards progress and moving forward wasn’t as simplistic or basic, you’d have to set goals and let your intentions and purposes, be your proverbial guiding light. Link-Crew’s zero hour was a daunting task, but regardless of the strenuous waking up at five in the morning, the commissioners lessons continually had genuine “nuggets” of wisdom to parallel with the month’s focus. For example, the commissioners towards the end of the semester stressed the mantra of constantly holding positivity, optimism and the encouragement of others near to our hearts and thoughts. The idea of optimism wasn’t completely foreign to me; it’s been an ongoing part of my personality for the last two years. Link-Crew has offered some enlightening insight on this topic. In Link-Crew in general throughout the first eighteen weeks has illustrated to me an actual application of these qualities, rather success or coming up finger tips short of the trapeze, we could try again. Helping the freshman was a worthy obstacle, not many were willing to offer depth to, and it wasn’t something you were going to hit on the head the first time or the second time around. Thats why the next step for me is ministry. These ideas and concepts are going to be highly coveted to me. I’ve learned to approach situations from a more open mindset, for it’s so easy to detach yourself from your community, but the truth is rather they say they need it or not isn’t the overseeing or underlying question, it’s how you can help.

    Link-Crew has been a major stepping stone in the pathway of life
    and participating in it next year is definitely on my agenda, for the path to life is a small narrow road and few will truly follow the path of life.

  29. Katie Pickett
    Link Crew Final

    In Link Crew I was able to help freshman students become acquainted with a new schooling environment. Next year when I move onto thee University of Colorado it will be my turn to rely on the Link leaders to help me become accustomed to the new chapter in my life. I have always been someone who prides in helping others out, so I knew Link Crew would be a good place for me. As a,two year, Link Leader I have learned new skills regarding academics, activities, and relationships.
    Throughout my schooling experience I have learned how important grades and academics are. In order to excel in my studies Link Crew has taught me how important it is to stay on top of my work load. While helping some of the freshman that were failing during the PLC day, I learned how easy it can be to fall behind. There is going to be a lot of reading in college. I understand that the work load is going to be difficult but necessary as I move onto the goal of working in pediatrics. In Link Crew I was able to pass on my knowledge of study habits to my group of freshman, and also to the struggling freshman at the PLC study session. These skills I will also be able to pass onto other students at college, or my children some day.
    The Link Crew activities have taught me how important it is to get involved with the school. The students who get involved do better academically and socially. The Link Crew activities show people that it is okay to participate, and that you do not become cooler by standing around and watching others have fun. At the incoming freshman showcase I was able to point incoming students in the direction of activities that will help them excel at high school. At college I can advise my new friends to participate in new activities with me. The prioritizing activity helped me manage my time depending on which things were most important. It can be easy to over commit my time. Link Crew helped me realize which activities are my highest priorities.
    Through Link Crew I was able to make new relationships with people I would of never thought I would have. Old friendships have become stronger and new friendships have been made. Link Crew has also taught me how to to mend relationships with people that I might not have been friends with. It has also taught me how to communicate with different types of people.
    High school passes by fast, so it can be easy to be left behind. Link Crew helped me make the most of my high school experience. With these academic skills and knowledge learned through activities and relationships, I will be able to excel at my college experience in the near future.

  30. Leadership is a skill I have been developing for a long time with the various activities I participate in, such as Girl Scouts. I have had to mostly lead myself and occasionally others, but have never had the opportunity to mentor and lead a group of young teens and help them feel welcomed in a totally new environment. I have had experience with planting the seed, but I have never been able to watch it grow and see what it will become. The freshmen I have lead through Link Crew have just started to blossom and will quickly bloom into lovely flowers. As their leader, I am so privileged to watch them do just that.
    School is the dirt in which all flowers grow. Some flowers take this soil in and bloom into beautiful flowers while others need a little fertilizer to help them along in their development. In Link Crew, we provide the fertilizer in order to assure that more of our flowering freshmen can grow. In school, some of my freshmen struggled while others succeeded and strove for perfection. I have gathered a lot of educational tips in the last few weeks teaching and mentoring my freshmen that I can readily apply to my own studies. While mentoring freshmen and helping them with their academic studies, I have been refreshed as to the basic principles and can use these skills. In the future, as in next week, I can use these study skills in my final exams to ease the stress that every test brings. Looking beyond finals week, I can see a smoother future in which I continue to improve in my academics and ease the strain that the stress of school always delivers a new. The beginning of winter and thus of final exams may prove to be either a time in which many flowers will die because they cannot survive the cold, or they may take this time to gather fertilization to bloom even brighter in the spring. I hope I have given my freshmen and myself the opportunity to bloom instead of wither.

    1. There is more of the rest of the essay below :)

  31. Leaders. Supposedly, only great leaders are born, but true leaders learn how to become great leaders. Link Crew has taught me how learn from my surrounding, communicate to others, how to be an example to others and how to use my leadership skills. In my future I plan to use my leadership skills in a college setting and in a future career.
    Link Crew has taught me different strategies to lead others without being “bossy.” People respond best when a leader communicates a way to solve a problem. I plan to take these skills into college to lead others. My leadership doesn't necessarily mean to have a powerful leadership role, I can also lead by example. I can let my strengths be an example for other. If I can show care to others, then possibly others will care for one another. During the leadership class, Link Crew specifically focused on academics, activities, and relationships. For academics in my future I plan to be an example through good grades. I also plan to encourage people to do their best in college. For activities I plan to get involved. Involvement creates relationships. I plan to make relationships with my fellow new class mates. Relationships are created through a leader and a follower and through this relationship, issues get solved and people work together better. The three areas of focus all connect with one another. If academics are not proficient then one can not do involved in activities and therefor can not build relationships. Everyone needs encouragement, and I plan to be the leader that encourages others. I joined Link Crew again this year because I wanted to use my leadership skills I learned in the previous year to be used again. The first year on Link Crew helped me come out of “my shell” and communicate to others. Before I was nervous to speak to new people. After the first year of Link Crew I wasnt afraid to make relationships with others. This year I planned to use my communication skills to be an example to Link Group (new students). I wanted to be show them that I cared for them, and was willing to help them become antiquated with Arapahoe High School. I hope my love for people was expressed to them, and feel like High School is a wonderful place filled with good people.
    Link Crew has taught me leadership skills. I plan to help others and lead by example. If everyone cared for one another, others would be happier. I will be caring so others will care for one another too.

  32. Throughout Link Crew this year the focus was on relationships, activities, and academics. The lessons I have learned and the experiences I have had will serve me well in the future. The difficult part will be applying them.
    As a senior in track I will be taking an active role of leadership. I will have to develop relationships with everyone in order to be an effective leader. In order to do that I will have to communicate effectively and understand the types of personalities of each person. If I can do this then hopefully everyone will find success in their events. Academics is also very important as I am an scholar-athlete. Without managing my own academics i will not be eligible to participate, but more importantly I will be setting a poor example for other athletes. I will also be able to help those who are ineligible to raise their grade in their respective classes. As a team we also have activities both formal and informal throughout the season for team bonding. I have found this invaluable in developing strong and lasting relationships.
    I will also be going off to college in the fall and the lessons I have learned will serve me well. I will have to be willing to move outside my comfort zone and form new relationships. I plan to do this by going to school organized activities and being involved in general. I plan to do intramural sports in college to keep in shape and to have fun. However, I am very competitive so I will take leadership in whatever sport I will be playing in order for everyone to be successful. Academics in college will be a change of pace compared to high school. More flexibility of when I do assignments will be unusual and may be disastrous considering I tend to procrastinate alot. I will have to plan out when I do assignments and activities in order to not become overwhelmed. The lessons I have learned in Link Crew will serve me well.
    As a returning leader I have to say that it has been a rewarding two years. I was able to apply the lessons I learned last year about leadership to my roles of leadership this year. Building relationships was the most important as I was able to form relationships with many new and even some returning runners. I was able to balance academics and athletics much better this year as well. I managed my time much better and have been doing better in my classes. I have also felt that I have been under much less stress as I don’t feel as pressed on time. As a two year leader it was also interesting to see how excited new leaders were and how similar as a whole the freshmen class was to the previous year. The most important lesson for me was learning how to positively influence people. I plan to be that person who helps in any way possible. I plan to lead verbally and silently by example in order to be that positive influence.
    No one knows what the future holds. No one can predict it, but anyone can shape it. I plan to shape not only my future, but the future of others around me.

  33. In order to be a beautiful flower, a plant needs more than just soil. They need other necessities beyond soil to stay grounded in, for example, sun. If the bright, glowing sun spreads its rays for all to bask in the glow. However, some flowers do not get to bask in the sun. They are hiding behind larger plants hoping they go unnoticed. Activities are like the sun because it seems optional to some, but really it is as large a necessity as the soil is to survival. Freshmen do not try new activities because they are afraid that they will be burned or there will not be a place for them in the sun. As Link Crew leaders, we foster how the freshmen feel toward the sun. We invite them to come out and try new activities so they can benefit from the suns rays. I have learned that some people find it very hard to come out of their shell and try new things. They see new experiences as intimidating and ominous. I now know how to help new students gain the courage to try new activities, as afraid as they may be. I will use this in future because I can tell myself the same thing I told my freshmen and encourage myself to attempt new and exciting things and explore my interests. I will help myself to experience the sun. I can also lead new members of the clubs and activities I am already participating in now. I want all flowers in be able to let in the light.
    With a solid base of soil and the help of the sun, there is one key aspect that is essential for the growth of a healthy blossom; water. Water soaks into the soil and is evaporated by the sun. Water can be forgotten or put to the side, but if it is forgotten for too long, the flower will quickly die and wither into nothing more than dead leaves. This is also the case with relationships. Relationships are often pushed aside or taken advantage of and not applied correctly. In order to properly foster relationships, you have to take time to water the plants and many people talk to their flower in the process. You have to reach out and make sure the water is actually getting the nutrition it needs. I have truly learned what the significance of relationships and will not take them for granted again. I used to think that relationships were simply a bonus, not essential. Due to my time in Link Crew, I can not see the importance of personal relationships. I can now see that relationships are the water and not just a leaf or rock. I will now be more aware and water all of my flowers to make sure they feel that relationship with me.

  34. Through Link Crew, I have acquired the skills necessary to become a better leader in the rest of my high school career and the rest of my life. It is my full intention to use these skills to help underclassmen and my peers.
    It wasn't until yesterday when I was helping a freshman named Kristen, that I realized what strides I had made as a leader. Working with Kristen, a diligent freshman, gave me such a sense of satisfaction. Her enthusiasm upon realization practically made me want to be a teacher. At the very least, it sparked my interest in working as a peer tutor in the Study Center. I can hardly wait till next semester to have the opportunity to aid others with their academics and relieve some of their stress surrounding school.
    I feel such a sense of accomplishment as Link Crew draws to an end this year because of the numerous relationships I have made. Even outside of mentor-ship relationships I have constructed with my ten freshmen, I have met a plethora of people who have inspired me. Learning to develop relationships like this will be something I will certainly use in my future. Without a doubt, I will have a few hundred more opportunities to aid others. I'm so pleased to have learned invaluable skills surrounding the development of relationships from Link Crew, so I will be able to live up to my full potential as a leader/helper in the rest of my life.
    One of my primary reasons for joining Link Crew was my desire to become more involve. It has certainly provided this opportunity. From the good laughs at the Qdoba basketball night, to the relieved face of freshmen at the end of orientation, I'm so grateful to have realized the importance of participating in life and fostering wonderful relationships along the way. I will never need persuasion to get involved. Whether it be intramural sports in college, or French club downtown, I will always have that drive to participate. It makes such an impact and it's absolutely a blast. After all, “A life is not important except in the impact it has on other lives.”

  35. Link Crew Final

    I have always thought of myself as a leader. Both at school and on my swim team, I have exercised my leadership abilities—abilities that come naturally to me. Having the opportunity to join Link Crew this year has given me all the more opportunity to exhibit leadership traits that I am proud of. Before, I was a leader by choice, but now, I am a leader by choice and by name. And like the leader I previously was, I look forward to leadership opportunities in the future—however, I now know what an impact my leadership has on others. I am planning to help myself grow more as a leader in the future, with what time my busy schedule will allow.
    Firstly, I am wishing to be a leader to anyone and everyone in the arena of academics. Two major areas of my life—school and swimming—provide wonderful opportunities to help others with academics. As far as school goes, I'd love to look into peer tutoring in the Study Center and helping with Arenapallooza. Both activities will provide one-on-one leadership to those who need help. In addition, I am just now starting to visit my middle school once a week and helping young writers with their writing and editing. I am thrilled with this opportunity, because it gives me the chance to be the leader I know I am while helping with something I love to do. I am also looking into reading aloud at a retirement home—an activity that will be unlike anything I have ever done before. In terms of swimming, I am lucky to have a team that functions as a family and is therefore supportive of one another at any time and with anything—including schoolwork! My friends are constantly bringing me essays to read and edit. I also help with specific pieces of literature (if I've read them), and I try my best to tell them what is going on when they are reading Shakespeare! I am grateful that I am surrounded by people and opportunities that will help me grow as a leader in the area of academics.
    Second, I hope to exercise my leadership abilities in the arena of activities. Again, both my school and swimming lives help me practice and improve these abilities. As I have grown older, I have realized how supportive and helpful having activities to look forward to and participate in is. In the midst of schoolwork and athletics, I found solace in taking part in activities. Now, I want to focus on helping provide activities for my friends, schoolmates, teammates, and family, as well as participating in activities that will help me grow as a leader. For example, I will resume teaching swim lessons and assistant-coaching for young children at DU and on my swim team. Being a leader for children much younger than myself is an entirely different experience than kids just a few years younger, of the same age as myself, or older than myself. I believe I am truly seen as a role model and my actions are watched with scrutiny. Assisting in things such as swimming and swimming mechanics allows me to fully exhibit my leadership traits and swimming knowledge and capabilities, and I am constantly realizing how I can change and grow in how I act.
    Finally, I am and will continue to be a leader in the arena of relationships. Relationships, I feel, are crucial to successful academics and activities, as well as life! I find myself being a leader by simply being a friend, teammate, classmate, and family member. Relationships are truly what are most important in life because we are surrounded by them. And, in every relationship, there is always opportunity to be a leader. By being a leader with my relationships, I will be taking an active role in my own life as well as in the lives of others. Link Crew has helped me recognize the power of relationships and the valuable role leadership has within them.
    Link Crew has made me realize my capacity as a leader. Although class is over, I will continue to exhibit my ever-growing and improving leadership traits and will take advantage of any opportunity I see to become a leader, and a better person!

  36. Mother Theresa once said, “Yesterday is gone. Tomorrow has not yet come. We only have today. Let us begin.” Through Link Crew, I have learned to live in the present to impact the future. Link Crew gives me an opportunity to lead and serve at my young age. Now that I have the experience of Link Crew, I Mother’s Theresa’s words have a greater impact on me when she said, “At the end of life we will not be judged by how many diplomas we have received, how much money we have made, how many great things we have done. We will be judged by ‘I was hungry, and you gave me something to eat, I was naked and you clothed me. I was homeless, and you took me in.’” You see, I know my purpose in life is to serve and to love, not to find the success that the world says I should. I strive and vow to live my life by Mother’s Theresa’s words. Through academics, service activities, and relationships, I will be the best man I can be.

    Through academics I have plans to seize every opportunity that would open more doors and give me more options in the future. My plans are to go to Colorado School of Mines or University of Colorado-Boulder as a Civil engineer. However, my motivation through these schools will not be of career or money like most, but of an education that I can best use to serve others. You see, my dream is to travel to third world countries and use my brains and education to better their quality of life. I’d like to be able to help fix their water systems, their infrastructure, and whatever else is needed. You see, I am presented with a unique opportunity to go to one of the greatest high schools in the nation. I would have been a fool not to try my very best to open up every opportunity and door that I could. With such a strong motivation to serve, I will continue to seize my opportunities to learn and succeed in Mines or CU. Academics are so powerful—they have given me so much. I vow to use them to help give back.

  37. Service activities are an obvious cornerstone in my passion and my ability to serve. It is so rewarding to join in a fight for a noble cause. However, although I will continue with planned service activities, I ultimately plan on creating my own. I want to find a noble cause that I can become passionate for and lead my own fight. I believe that I have a lot to offer, and through my leadership, I can lead people to effectively help with my fight. Specifically, however, my ideal dreams are a bit more unclear. For example, on the forefront of my mind is this summer. This summer, I would love to serve; I want to do something that I have never done before, something that others may view as crazy, something against the norm. One idea is to work in a special needs camp in Missouri of which I have attended in the past. Although intimidating, I am confident that I will be able to love and handle a summer working with mentally handicapped children and adults. Another idea is to travel on my own to a different country and see what I can do to serve on my own. You see, I have traveled to other countries with large groups in the past and I am curious to see what I can do. My plans for life are truly to travel and serve; therefore, this summer, I would love to try a small-scale version of that. No matter what I end up doing, I know that I will continue to live by my passion for service.

    John F Kennedy once said, “Leadership and learning are indispensable to each other.” I know that the first step in becoming a great leader is to continue learning. Not only does that put more emphasis on academics, but I plan on following my mentors who are also great leaders. My whole life, my father (one of my mentors) has told me that how he found success is by doing exactly what other successful people do. I strive to meet great leaders in our world and learn from them. I understand that great service takes great leadership, and I strive to be a great leader to change the world.

    In conclusion, Link Crew has helped me learn more about academics, service, and leadership. These qualities will help me become a greater leader and server to help change the world. Through academics, I will seize my opportunities to learn. Through service, I will find and follow my passion. Through leadership I will change my world. I have high goals and expectations for my life and I will not settle with the normal American Dream. I will change the world.

  38. Through the past two years I have spent as a LINK leader, I've learned valuable tactics in effectively “reaching” people that I once would not have been able to reach that include making a meaningful connection to virtually anyone and being able to help anyone in a time of need. In going forward, it will be important in college and in a job to have these skills. I am now able to understand everyone's struggles in school, I understand the importance in getting involved, and I understand the why everyone needs their own “someone.” In college, I plan on getting involved in student government so these “tactics” will help me in identifying with others. In the future, I will strive to be an effective leader. In order to do so, whether it be in a student government, in an internship position, I will use my new found ability to connect to others in all aspects of life.
    Academics often come naturally to me. Or, I would like to think naturally. However, after this recent unit, I have come to realize that I may not be as well rounded a leader as I once thought because grades and learning are often the most challenging and frustrating topics in life. I neglected to notice that by connecting through academics, people are willing to place more trust in me. In college and in the real world, I will care more about people struggling with learning around me. After all, it seems when everyone is learning, as a whole, everyone is able to bring more ideas to the table. This larger sharing of ideas allows for more growth and change. Also, I have become and will always be a “student” of life because learning about everything and everything allows me to stay current as a leader. Also, knowing the struggles of others not only will allow me to help them out, but it will also hopefully help me learn useful lessons about failure and how to come back from that failure.

  39. John Piccone
    While hesitating whether or not to apply to Link Crew, there were many thoughts that flew through my head. I thought about the early mornings and hard commitments, however I also pondered about how big of a difference I could make with something like this, and in the end I made the right decision and I am extremely glad for what I chose.

    Link Crew has completely changed me in so many ways. From the way I think about others to what I can do for them, I have grown as a person and it is in such a good way. I have learned so many important life lessons in Link Crew, and although I already knew most of them going in, Link Crew has put so much stress on certain ideals that it is impossible not to be changed for the better. I have learned how important it is for a freshmen to have someone there to help and guide them when they get lost, and even though they do not like to admit it, they really appreciate it. I have also learned how much of a difference such a small group as Link Crew can make. Through all the activities that we participated in, Link Crew changed so many lives and helped so many people. However, now that Link Crew is over, I can't help but wonder what I am supposed to do now. It would be extremely easy to go back to how I was at the end of my sophomore year and to act like Link Crew never happened, but I know this would be the wrong path. Link Crew taught us these important lessons for a reason, and it was not entirely for the purpose of helping freshmen. It was also particularly for the purpose of molding such great students into even better people, and then to send them out to the world to pursue whatever it may be after high school. Everyone, including me, learned how important it is to help others along the way while also worrying about personal activities such as our own friendships and academics. So, from all of these lessons I have learned, I plan to go out into the world and change it for the better.

  40. Getting involved is important. Whether it be playing a sport or just networking at a party, to stay updated, as was mentioned above, involvement is paramount. However, this is the most challenging part for people. Going forward, I hope to inspire people in getting involved. Most people have an issue getting involved because they “don't know anyone” or because they simply think it is a waste of their time. Because of this, it is one of my biggest goals that I “show people the light” about how easy it is in getting involved, whether it is getting involved in their own work or networking to meet new people that have the ability to augment their [the people who are networking] quality of life either through work or through play. To accomplish this goal, I will try to persuade people to “accompany” me to different events that are beneficial. While it may not exactly be simple, being actively involved in life opens doors because of the amount of people that you can meet by just simply being present. These people are future bosses, friends, or even family. And often in the end, it's not what you know, but who you know.
    In addition to involvement and academics being an overriding force in life, relationships also hold a large spot in success in life. I strive to make everyone feel comfortable by being as accessible as I am able to be. Imagine going through life without even one true friend. I admit, I am almost unable to think of a life without meaningful connections with others. I am sure many of the people that commit heinous crimes may feel the strangling feeling of not having someone to turn to when they are at their lowest points. It may be a bit forward to say that I believe that I have a chance to change this going forward, however, if I am able to find one person that I can befriend, that alone is change in the world. I promise myself that I will be courteous and kind to anyone who would like my company and help.
    Through the combination of reaching out to people through academics, fostering an environment for successful involvement and befriending as many people as I can, I hope to stay as well rounded as I am after these past two years. Reaching out to those who struggle or even those who are successful allows meaningful connects to be solidified. These connections are opportunities waiting to happen. It gives my life purpose when I am able to see people rule life, instead of having life rule them. And I don't necessarily know the meaning of life. It may be 42, it may not be. But I know, that for me, part of the meaning of my life is helping others be the best they can be.

  41. John Piccone Part 2
    My plans for the future are simple and precise. Finish high school, go to college and practice whatever my heart may want at that time, and then push through the rest of my life. However, it is very important to me that I keep with me everything I have learned in Link Crew as I pursue my dreams. This may be difficult with everything else that may be going on around me and in my life, but Link Crew has shown me how important it is to keep these ideals with me. I plan to use all that I have learned from being focused on activities, relationships, and academics to stay focused on my own problems while at the same time being focused on my relationships with others and also what I can do for others. All three of the focuses are extremely important, and relationships play a huge part in what Link Crew teaches. From everything that I have learned from my relationships with the freshmen at Arapahoe and also with the other Link Crew leaders, I can take so much away with me in life. What I will take away from our relationships focus is how important it is to be there for someone through thick and thin, with no judgment. From seeing how much the freshmen benefit from everything the group did as Link Crew, I see how important it is to practice good relationships. Throughout the rest of my life I will take these lessons and make good strong relationships so that I can have people to turn to in times of need, and vice versa. Although relationships are extremely important in life, activities and what I can do for others is equally as important. It is extremely important to care about your own life, it is also important to care about the lives of others. What I will take away from our activities focus in my life is that it is important to help whomever you can, and even the smallest thing can make a big difference. The last focus is academics. Although academics may seem the least important when put up against relationships, leadership, activities, and other parts such as this, it is very prominent. I have learned from the academics focus that although it is smart to focus on relationships and activities, academics is what will get me far in life, and I should never let it become a smaller part of my life.

    Link Crew has taught me so many life lessons and I will take so much away from it and I will apply it to my everyday life. From what I have learned by focusing on relationships, activities, and academics, I will take so much with me in life to become a better person and friend.

  42. Through Link Crew I have learned many skills that I believe will help me immensely throughout life. Without leadership skills I don't know if you could lead your own life. These skills are necessary at least once, and I learned that you need to occupy this yourself. The freshmen that I met the during orientation made me realize that with a little leadership you can begin to be a leader yourself. I know one of my freshmen already wants to be a Link Leader in his near future. Which brings me to my next point relationships; relationships can help you throughout high school and having multiple relationships allowed me to have a partner in link crew. Also meeting these freshmen allowed me to have a close bond with them. I understood what it was like to be a freshmen and I could easily relate to the homework and situations they're struggling with throughout freshmen year. I was remembered how important it was to have someone who has already been there before me to talk to so you would know everything would be fine. Leading your own life directly relates to academics. Link Crew had a study session in the cafeteria a few weeks before, and my partner and I tried our best to help the freshmen by giving them good study tips, and reading skills that could help them in the future. Although we can give them tips we cannot do the work for them. They have to do the work on their own and decide if they want to lead their own life. This is also how I see my academics. I believe that if I want the results I want in my grades I have to do it myself. I LEAD my life and control the outcome of what I receive. The activities that we did at the beginning of the year with the freshmen, was represented as something small, but in reality it helped us create these relationships that allowed us to care about their well being and care about their acedemics in school and have a strong feeling for them to be successful.

  43. This past semester, I have spent every Thursday morning at Link Crew, doing activities to teach me about relationships, extracurriculars and academics, and how to handle my priorities and help the freshman with theirs. Link Crew's purpose is to educate the Juniors and Seniors about being leaders to their classmates, but specifically the freshman. After Link Crew, I can take the leadership skills that I learned and apply them in my daily life, taking the lessons from the activities in class and using them to my advantage in the real world.
    The school year started off with 12 freshman, some more eager to learn than others, and it was my duty to guide them through high school, and help them be as successful as possible. While some of them were prepared for what lied before them, or at least thought they did, there were quite a few that didn't know where they were going to fit socially, how they would get involved, or what the classes were going to be like. It was my job to act as a leader for the freshman, and to give them support when they needed it. I had to avoid acting like a helicopter and having their accomplishments overshadowed by my presence, because they needed to be able to find their own way, without relying totally on one person to show them the “right” way. As leader, I have grown from selected guidance that I showed the freshman. Normally, I would take total control in a leadership position, but this time I couldn't because the freshman wouldn't learn anything, and they would be living my life, not theirs. Now I know that I have to back off with group projects and class activities so other people can be heard. I have gotten better at stepping off to the side, but it is difficult for me to not give all that I have towards a project, especially when I feel like the other members aren't giving as much as they should. Considering that I strive for perfection, another one of my probable downfalls, there is immense pressure on me to achieve as best as I can and when there is a situation where I can control the outcome I will lead the way that I want to. The activities in Link Crew where I had to collaborate with other people, such as the fallout shelter assignment, further opened my eyes to the way I conduct myself as a leader in academic group situations.

  44. The Link Crew activities were often focused on participation, whether it was intentional or not, and they helped me grow as a leader and apply the knowledge from those activities to my sport and extracurriculars. Leadership is not only important when it comes to academics and projects, but also with motivating people during swimming and in other clubs, like DECA. I have been able to act as leader in the situations when no one else steps up, and I have been required to get the other participants pumped up for the task at hand. At swimming, I am very vocal and persuasive about making the times and completing the sets, and therefore leading my lane to achieving their goal of improving at swimming and making better times during the meets they train so hard for. DECA is mostly an individual activity, but as a strong leader, I have been able to convince people that they will do well on their and encourage them to do their best. I can look at situations realistically, which often helps me deal with other people’s nerves. I am able to use logic to talk them down, in a way, and show them that there is no point in worrying about the future.
    I hope that with my experiences through Link Crew I will further continue to be able to use my leadership to my advantage in academics, extracurriculars, and social relationships. The activities we did in class showed me how to become a stronger leader, and I know that my strength as a role model and someone that people can look up to will only continue to grow.

  45. This year in Link Crew was definitely an eye opener for me. I learned so much about myself as a leader and person, while also learning about others. All that I have learned I will be able to take with me in the future. Throughout the year Link Crew has taught me many valuable lessons about being a better leader, and I will apply those lessons in college and my career.

    Having a big focus this year be on academics was helpful to me as a soon to be college freshman. It is weird to think that just next year I will be in the same situations that all of the freshman were in this year. I know that the college work load will take time to adjust to, but the strategies that were covered in class will help me. For me asking for help is the biggest struggle because I do not like to admit my weaknesses and admit to others that I need help. However teaching to other leaders in class the importance of asking for help has helped me to fully understand the importance of it. In college academics I hope that I will be able to be a leader to my peers. Many of the colleges I am looking at have honors and leadership programs available for freshman that I want to get involved in so I keep myself on track while hopefully inspiring others to reach their potential.

    Another focus for me in college will be on activities and balance. The whole focus this Link Crew year was "A good leader is a balanced leader" and I hope to exemplify that in college. I know that college will be completely different than high school and there will be so many more activities that I will be exposed to, and want to participate in. If I am to remain on top of academics as well I will need balance. Prioritizing was the lesson that I responded to most. Typically I am not good at deciding what is the most important and what I need to do right away. In college I will be faced with decisions about whether my activities or academics are the priority. As a good leader I will have to say academics, but I know that to keep myself sane there are times when activities will be more important. I have come to understand balance better throughout the year enough to make that last statement. That probably would not have come out of my mouth before this year. It may just be the senioritis catching up with me, but I believe that I truly have a grasp on what I need to do for myself to be the best leader I can be. Even on the occasions I chose activities over academics I will still be able to have a leadership role in activities.

    The lessons learned in Link Crew will also help me in my career. I am still planning on being a teacher as I have been since 4th grade, so throughout the years I have been gathering many strategies for when I run my own classroom. I struggle with others not working their hardest especially when I know what they are truly capable of. This is true of me as a student and athlete and will definitely be true of me as a teacher looking at my students. While focusing on relationships I have developed more of an insight into others. While I will never fully understand why the slacker slacks and the procrastinator procrasts (not a word, I know) in learning more about them I do see some of myself in them. This revelation will help me to understand my students and know that while they may not fulfill exactly the goal I have in mind for them, they will do it in their time or style in a way which works best for them. As a teacher I do not want to be there to bother them and make them hate learning, but rather to help them and encourage learning and growth within them. I may not be able to turn them into the model student, but if I can help them find a piece of that model student within them, just as I found some slacker in me, hopefully they will be more willing to try and believe in themselves enough to reach their full potential.

  46. Returning this year as a leader and especially as a commissioner I feel that there was more eyes watching me and looking up to me. I can say without hesitation that I did all that I could do as a commissioner this year. I poured my time and effort into trying to make this a great year for the leaders and freshman, and I feel very content with the results. I am so pleased with all of the work the leaders have put into TeachAIDS and the PLC study session. I have come to love the TeachAIDS organization and I am so grateful to Link Crew and the school for making this fundraiser a success. While the money raised is not an astronomical amount, the leaders worked hard for the donations and it was all earned. The money does not matter because whatever amount we send will be helping kids in third world countries and the more we can help the better, but just educating one class may be enough to save their lives which is all I could hope for.

    Link Crew has been such a great program and I am so grateful to have been a part of it. Who knows, maybe I will end up sponsoring it one day as a teacher. The lessons that I have learned have been invaluable to myself now and will make be a better, stronger leader in my future. I am looking forward to what the future has in store for me, and I will never forget all that I have learned in Link Crew.