Student Council Establishes Big/Little Mentor Program

Many students, especially freshmen and sophomores, rely on older siblings or upperclassmen for advice on classes to take and clubs to join, but not everyone has these resources available to them. Student Council seeks to help these students navigate the ups and downs of high school through the Big/Little mentor program, which is new for the 2022-2023 school year. 

Students joined the program during the fall semester and had to be a member of Student Council to participate. After filling out a form with information about themselves, Big and Little pairs were chosen based on similar likes, dislikes, and other characteristics. 

“I joined because I wanted to have someone that I knew was older than me to help me [as a] guide around the school, I guess, because I was new and so I didn’t really know where everything was, or what clubs to join, [or] pretty much just what should I do,” freshman Rhianna Bradley said. “Since my Big is a senior, she has more experience, so she can help me out on what to do and advice for courses and what to take.”

Senior Lauren Kloehr, Bradley’s mentor, said they meet up about once a month outside of school and talk about what is going on in their lives, their classes, and Bradley’s basketball team. 

“Usually if I know that she has a basketball game, I’ll be like, oh, good luck at your basketball game,” Kloehr said. “Or if she needs help on something, I’ll direct her to stuff that could help her for school.” 

Freshman Aarushi Thatola said her mentor, junior Sam Bui, has made her feel more comfortable with the adjustment from middle school to high school. 

“I actually feel like I kind of know what I’m doing,” Thatola said. “I don’t have any older siblings, telling me like, oh, this is how it goes, and this is what to do and what not to do, but Sam totally gave me a great foundation to do well later on.” 

Bui’s desire to be a mentor and help younger students comes from her own experience of moving from Louisiana to Texas in her freshman year. 

“When I first moved to Texas, I came as a freshman, first year ever being in Texas, and I didn’t really know anybody,” Bui said. “I did not know what I was doing at all, so I kind of wish I had like an older mentor that would help me and stuff, and I want to do that for someone else.”

In the coming years, the Big/Little program will continue to be a source of support for students who choose to join. 

“I feel like it’s beneficial for everyone, not just the Littles,” Bradley said. “The Bigs get a touch of what it’s like to be a freshman now compared [to] how it was for them, so I feel like more people should join.”