With the arrival of Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School’s new principal, Michelle Kefford, many changes have come about at MSD. One of which is the program “Kefford’s Kids,” which students started taking part in on Thursday, Nov. 21.
Kefford’s Kids is a mentorship program between upperclassmen and lower classmen. The program is meant to provide support to underclassmen who are able to ask questions and hear about the experiences of upperclassmen. Underclassmen can get advice on social, academic and even psychological tips on how to navigate four years of high school.
This is not the first time Kefford has done this mentorship program. She also introduced it at her previous school, Charles W. Flanagan High School, where it was very successful for the students there.
“It is important to bridge the gaps that students have socially between the differences they may have, for example the sport they may partake in,” Kefford said.
The students who were paired up met and had a kickback on Thursday, Nov. 21 during first, second and fourth period, as well as on Friday, Nov. 22 during eighth period in the mini gym. Pairs will stay the same all year and will meet up at least twice a month until the school year is over.
There are approximately 200 students participating in this program, which consists of mentors and mentees. The mentors are Student Government Association members and peer counselors that have signed up to be a part of the program.
“I am most excited to be able to establish a real, personal connection with my mentee and I really hope that we can become close to one another,” senior Helen Abbott said. “My expectations are that we build a trusting relationship so that [the mentee] can come talk to me whenever they feel [they want to].”
Additionally, The Wave, a non-profit organization created by Church by the Glades, helped commence the new program by playing games, hosting team-building exercises and team games in order to allow mentors to motivate and bond with their mentees.
“[We are here] to inspire the mentors and to really make a difference with these mentors,” The Wave representative Nick Ferreiro said. “It is difficult to come in and meet someone new for the first time…we want to make it easier [for the kids] to get to know each other.”
The overall goal is to leave the school more united and familiar with one another, which Kefford is determined to make happen.