Senior develops New Student Ambassador program


David Castellucci

Sophomore student ambassador Riya Parikh shows transfer student, sophomore Marie Divers around the school.

Staff Reporters

As new students transfer to this school, they are introduced to one of the New Student Ambassadors (NSA’s) who will serve as their mentor and tour guides to help them feel comfortable. This new program was created by senior Maura Freeman as her “senior charge” for Link Crew.

“We can offer our help to that new student in any way the new student needs or sees fit. We can give them tours of the school, walk them to and from class, answer questions, introduce the new student to teachers or coaches, and even go as far as to sit with them at lunch,” Freeman said.

When sophomore Marie Diver transferred from Wisconsin, she was introduced to sophomore Riya Parikh.

“This is a big school compared to my old one that only had 200 people in the entire high school. My ambassador helped me find classes and get used to the schedule and she explained how the lunchroom worked,” Diver said.

Freeman was inspired to start the program due to her own past experiences moving to new schools.

“When I was eight, my family moved from Danville, IL to Evans City, PA. I didn’t know what to do. I was in a new place, a new house, a new school, and I wasn’t offered help. I forced myself to succeed in class, but I was struggling to survive in school and in my community. After PA, we moved to Maryland, to Texas, to Chrisman, IL, and then we finally stopped in Plainfield, IL,” Freeman said. “I decided I would never let another student struggle the way I did.

So whenever a new student would enter my class, I would introduce myself, sit with them at lunch, and ensure that they knew how to get to and from class.”

Any sophomore, junior or senior who wants to become a student ambassador needs to apply online by October. This year there were 70 applicants, and 25 students were chosen to be ambassadors.

“We have meetings on the first Monday of every month, where we discuss how it’s going, how many new students we’ve had, and how we can improve,” Freeman said.

So far the program seems to be working.

“Without it I probably would have gotten lost a lot. It would have been more overwhelming,” Diver said.

“I recognize that this is a new program, so there are obviously a few things that need to be smoothed out, but other than that, I couldn’t be happier! Something that I’ve dreamed of for nine years is finally coming to fruition! It’s fabulous!” Freeman said.