Link Crew’s Impact on Titan Territory

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Link Crew’s Impact on Titan Territory

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The 2015-2016 school year saw a major change to Dominion: the implementation of Link Crew, a program meant to prepare and help transition incoming freshmen into Titan Territory. The 2018-2019 school year is the fourth year of Link Crew at Dominion High School. The program has come a long way since it originated, yet some students were not satisfied with their experience in Link Crew. This led students at Dominion to wonder whether or not Link Crew was actually as helpful as it is supposed to be.  

Ms. Nguyen, the choir director and the co-founder of Link Crew at Dominion said, “It’s a way to make sure that every single one of our freshmen feels comfortable and ready for success when they walk into Titan Territory.”  Ms. Nguyen has been an active part of the Link Crew program for 4 years now and her faith in the program has only grown. In order to prepare the incoming freshmen, they have an orientation that is held a couple days before Zero Day. At orientation, freshmen meet their leaders in the auditorium where they do activities to make the freshmen comfortable. They later break into their individual groups in order to get to know the people that they will be with all year. Shortly after the year starts, Link Crew leaders hold a “tailgate” before a home football game in order to get freshmen involved with the social aspect of high school. Leaders also go through all of the extracurricular activities that students can get involved in.

Her plans for the future of Link Crew are already set and being accomplished. “I think maybe some goals for the future for us will be engaging more of our freshman population right from the get-go. I think we do a really really good job,” Ms. Nguyen said. The Link Crew leaders are also doing an amazing job in her opinion. “I am so impressed,” Ms. Nguyen said.

Despite Ms. Nguyen’s admiration for Link Crew, some students do not feel that Link Crew is very beneficial. Katherine Hepler, a junior who went through Link Crew as a freshman said, “I personally, as a freshman, didn’t enjoy Link Crew because my Link Crew leaders weren’t very helpful for me coming in as a freshman and I couldn’t really relate to any of them.” Hepler also said of Link Crew, “I know some people in my class did struggle, so I wish that my Link Crew leaders would have helped them more and helped them come out of their shells and when they saw that they had bad grades [they] would have helped them try to overcome that.”

Becca Mckinney, a sophomore at Dominion did not feel that Link Crew fulfilled its purpose saying, “The leaders were really unhelpful and they were…full of drama… it was a terrible experience and it wasn’t helpful at all.” Mckinney said that, “ [I wished that they had] been more welcoming and less thinking that they’re better than you.”

As eighth graders make the transition into high school, they often expect to be treated much older than they were in Middle School. While freshman Keara Spurill has enjoyed her time in Link Crew so far, her first impression of it was that it seemed a little childish. Spurill said of the Link Crew orientation, “I kind of thought it was a little kid-ish but some of the games were kind of fun but it was also not what I was expecting for High School.”

While some students have not had the best experience with Link Crew, others found it to be really helpful to them. Nick Barenz is a junior at Dominion and was attending a private school up until his freshman year. Unlike most freshman entering Titan Territory, he did not know many of the kids around him. Barenz said, “Link Crew really helped because I was a new student at LCPS and Link Crew really helped me fit in and meet new people.”

The leaders in Link Crew are encouraged to lead discussions about study tips and ways to balance your schedule in High School. Mina Saljuki, who is now a junior, said, “I was having a really hard time with balancing school and sports and one of my Link Crew leaders told me to come into the school and do work and I started to do that and it really helped me.”

Link Crew is now a widely known program across the school. Ms. Nguyen makes sure that Link Crew shows the diversity of the school, saying, “We are always looking to really make sure that our Link Crew leader group is as diverse as possible and represents as much of the student body as we can.”

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