Linked together

How Link Leaders help the incoming class at MVHS – and in the years beyond

Sreya Kumar and Brandon Ng

Entering high school, freshman Ajit Chamraj didn’t know what to expect. He definitely wasn’t expecting the rows of juniors and seniors, donned in purple tie dye shirts, welcoming him and his fellow freshmen as they walked into the field house for the first time.

Soon after, the upperclassmen, who Chamraj eventually learned were Link Leaders, gave them activities to do and bond over, and as the school year progressed, he started to look forward to the bonding events hosted by the Link Leaders, like the annual dodgeball game and classroom activities.

“We did a couple [of] bonding things [like] the dodgeball [game],” Chamraj said. “Other Link Leaders have come [to] our literature class they’re pretty open [to talk to]. You can talk to them if you need help with anything.”

According to Link Commissioner and senior Antara Palkar, Link Crew members are supposed to be checking in with their Link kids in addition to the freshman literature and writing class presentations once a month. They make it a point to check up on the freshmen’s  social lives when they see their assigned freshmen around campus.

“A lot of my Link kids see me outside and are like ‘Hi, how are you doing this year?’” Palkar said. “I really appreciate it. It’s nice to see my Link kids reciprocating what I’ve given [my Link Leaders] their freshman year. It’s really sweet to see them feel comfortable.”

That comfort carried into the next year; sophomore Aranya Shukla explains that her Link Leaders changed her freshman year for the better. It not only made her feel like a part of the MVHS community, but she was introduced to more people around campus thanks to her Link Leaders.

“Last year, the Link Leaders got together with us a lot and they were really kind and friendly,” Shukla said. “They [introduced] the different social events that took place here like rallies and dances and [described] their experience in high school and they really encouraged us open up and spend time with other people.”

From orientation to post-freshman year, Palker claims that Link Leaders aim to provide a pathway for freshmen to enter MVHS as smoothly as possible. She talks about the importance of setting a good example for the freshmen to follow, as the Link Leaders primarily serve as role models for the new students.

“[I] want to support them [and] tell them it’s going to get better,” Palkar said. “[You can] make these really close bonds and I feel like the Link Leaders’ tone will set that mindset for them. That’s what I like about Link — seeing them like go from these shy, uncomfortable little kids into grounded students here at MVHS. I just like that transformation.”