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New senior leadership program helping freshman at Tippecanoe HS adjust

TIPP CITY, Ohio (WDTN) - Today underclassman at Tippecanoe High School started their first day of school without most of the juniors and seniors.

The upperclassman were visiting colleges or job shadowing, while a new program was helping the freshman break the ice and shed their nerves.

"I thought seniors and juniors were going to be more intimidating. Like, get out of our way freshman. But they were super nice to us," said Jacob Bowerman, a Tippecanoe Freshman of his Link Crew leaders. 

Link Crew is made up of upperclassmen who come back to school during summer to train for freshman orientation day. 

This is the programs first year at Tipp. 

As soon as the freshman walk into school, the upperclassman lead games that are designed to chip-away at insecurities. 

"We use the analogy of an iceberg. Everyone comes into the school everyday with things that are going on beneath the surface," said Principle Steve Verhoff. 

"We want our experience, what we had in high school to be like their experience. It's going to be different, but we want them to have a great experience like we did," said Victoria Jacobs, a Link Crew leader. 

Leaders like Jacobs are in charge of a group of about 10-12 freshman. She will check in on her group throughout the year to see how they're doing.

Her check-ins will include academic follow-ups and various activities throughout the school year. 

"It'll be nice to see them in the hallway or out on the field playing football. Being like hey, that was one of my kids," said Jacobs. 

Freshman will tell you Link Crew is making that first day back at school a whole lot better. 

"You get to know them a lot better. It might not be people you originally knew. You also get to know 2 or 3 upperclassmen. That's really helpful," said Zada Gillenwater, a freshman. 

Sophomores were also at school, participating in Unity Day. 

Juniors and Seniors will return to class on Thursday. 


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