A bittersweet ending


Link Crew positively affects the lives of everyone that encounters it, and it will only continue to make a difference in the halls of Mercy as years go by. (Photo Credit: Trish Brown)

“Everybody clap your hands once! Clap twice!” I can’t count how many times I have heard that phrase in the past two years and until now, I have thought nothing of it. I used to just sit and passively listen to Mrs. Trish Brown recite that phrase over and over again, without so much as a thought as to what it actually represents. This phrase signifies 44 hardworking students who wish to make a difference at Mercy. It represents the silly and playful Link Ups and the early Monday meetings. This phrase embodies Link Crew in its essence. It has been a part of my life for two years, and I realized that it was in the moment that I was sitting in a circle with almost all 44 of my new Link sisters at Link Crew Reflection Night that I would be hearing Mrs. Brown enthusiastically shout this signature phrase for the very last time.

Link Crew is an organization, created by The Boomerang Project, that has been implemented in high schools all over the nation. The goal of Link Crew is to welcome incoming freshmen into high school by instilling in them feelings of comfort and confidence. High school upperclassmen are paired with a group of freshmen to create a crew and guide them through the halls of the new environment, while teaching them about the ups and downs that come with entering the 9th grade. Mercy’s Link Crew program is one of the best because it has touched and impacted the lives of those who participate.

Being in Link Crew creates such a sense of community and acceptance for me. The impact it has had on my life, through being in a crew as a freshman to being a leader for two years, has been tremendous. Link Crew has enabled me to acquire new sets of skills and to further develop the skills I already had. It has taught how me to communicate with others, and that every person requires and may respond better to different approaches. From this program, I have formed irreplaceable bonds with the girls in my crew so much so that I view them as my friends, not my Link Crew freshmen.

The mark Link Crew has left on Mercy is gigantic because it affects and relates to the freshmen in such positive and inspiring ways. They are encouraged to reach for the stars, be their own person, try new things, and never label anyone. The values that Link Crew is instilling in the freshmen are the same values that all students should aspire to have, if they don’t already. Link Crew is more than just a welcoming program; it’s a loving, accepting, and supporting family that I am proud to say I have been a part of for the past two years. I may not have weekly Monday meetings, get to wear my beloved sky blue Link Crew shirt anymore, or hear the phrase ‘Everybody clap your hands once! Clap twice!’ ever again, but I’ll always be a Link Leader in my mind and heart.