By Laura Phelps, Pivotal High School Coach  


As a high schooler, getting to school by 8 a.m. is typically a bit of a challenge. You can imagine how surprised I was when one of the students I coach told me she was hoping to join the Link Crew, which meant she’d have to wake up at 5:30 a.m. to get to school by 7:00 a.m. While I’m always supportive of extracurricular activities, I knew she was already facing a demanding academic year. I was curious what her motivation was. And what on earth was Link Crew anyway? 

My students explained that Link Crew is a high school transition program that helps freshmen students through the first year of high school. Students help each other succeed. Juniors and seniors are trained as Link Crew leaders, they mentor and guide new students as they navigate the twists and turns of high school. 

When my student told me about the opportunity and said she wanted to apply to be a Link Crew leader, we talked through the application and what might happen in the interview. It was a great conversation, and I could see that she’d apply many of the Success Skills that are part of Pivotal’s program and the conversations we’d been having in our coaching sessions. I was pretty excited! I could see so many benefits to this experience: it would help build her resume, prepare her for job and internship interviews, and look great on college and scholarship applications. 

Being a part of Link Crew hasn’t just changed my student’s morning routine. It’s changed her life. Now she gets to school early to be ‘on call’ for freshmen who may need assistance. Her level of commitment is clear, and she demonstrates responsibility, empathy, and dedication. The Success Skills we’ve been working on are live in action! Through Link Crew, I’m also seeing her use the essential skills we review and practice in our coaching sessions – leadership, teamwork, and communication. As a Pivotal coach, I couldn’t be prouder. Not only is my student excelling in school and life, she’s learned the importance of giving back and helping others.