The Cardinal Mentor program has been long accepted as one of Lincoln’s main ways to integrate incoming students into the community. The program was designed to pair upperclassmen with lowerclassmen to help them adjust to their new school environment. This sounds like an appealing program, however, in recent years, it has been far from productive.
This year, the Cardinal Mentors gave a tour of the school to freshman on their orientation day in late August, however, this was the only contact Mentors had with their freshman until about a month later, leaving them alone in potentially the most transitional and formative period in all of high school.
The next meeting consisted of a gathering in the gym that the leaders of the organization, called Executive Mentors, announced to freshmen by a PA announcement just minutes before it started, neglecting to put up posters around the school or notifying freshman English classes in the days prior.
The Mentors themselves were also emailed on short notice, leaving freshman and upperclassmen alike flustered and confused come the meeting. Each mentor was assigned 3-5 freshman to meet, however not every freshman showed up to the meeting and the process of pairing freshmen with their mentors was so inefficient that it left the students with no time to actually accomplish the goals of the meeting. Freshmen were supposed to write a letter to their senior selves, however this was never done because of the timing and organizational issues.
One aspect in which the program does achieve its goals is that it introduces freshmen to not only other members of their own class, but other classes as well. These connections with upperclassmen can help them succeed throughout their first year of high school by giving advice and guidance. This, however, cannot be achieved without proper coordination of events by student leaders within the program.