New program connects junior leaders with freshmen
As incoming freshmen continue the adjustment to high school under unique circumstances, Mount Carmel faculty and students are providing support and personal assistance through the Junior Leadership program, with upperclassmen connecting directly with new students.
The Junior Leadership program, which was originally thought of in February of 2020 by Mrs. Shanta Wheeler but is now run by Mr. Bill Heaney and Mrs Kennedy, was created to be a helping hand for new students going into high school. The program is open to any junior who is willing to help freshmen in their adjustment process by keeping in touch with them via e-mail, social media, and even in the hallways.
Heaney and Kennedy have been “overwhelmed” by the number of applications from juniors trying to help incoming freshmen adjust to a new normal. Applications closed as of September 11, and the feedback Heaney and Kennedy received was terrific.
“The juniors were very impressive” Heaney said.
He added that the response has created a sense of hope and “optimism” among faculty.
“Faculty are optimistic and excited to see the results of the Junior Leadership Program.”
According to Heaney, the original impetus for the program was not COVID- 19 in mind, but simply to help incoming freshmen get off to a good start..
“The idea of the program surfaced before COVID-19. It was going to happen whether the pandemic had come along or not.”
While the program is just getting underway, Heaney and Kennedy are working to match up the juniors with freshmen to whom they will relate, a process that should be completed by the start of October.
Patrick Hatzis is a 16-year-old junior at Mount Carmel High School. Hatzis was born in the West Loop, but now lives in the South Loop of Chicago. Hatzis...