The Big Brother Program has made its arrival to Boys’ Latin this year thanks to senior Griffin McShane. Griffin started this brand-new program as a way to strengthen bonds between the student body by pairing a senior with an incoming freshman for the duration of the school year.
This past February, Griffin attended a leadership summit where he first learned of a program where a senior would be paired with a freshman and become a mentor to him. Of course, this sparked inspiration in Griffin to start a similar program here at BL as a way to build stronger relationships between seniors and freshmen. With a new program like this, Griffin hopes to measure his success at the end of the year in the most emotional way.
“I hope to measure success based, sadly, on the Senior Farewell just seeing the emotions the seniors have as they see their little brothers. If they’ve made a meaningful connection, the ceremony will get very emotional very fast,” Griffin said.
It’s already October, and Griffin has quickly made his impact on why this program means so much not only to the freshmen but to the seniors as well. For them, it’s just another great memory to look back on and remember the freshmen that they’ve all made relationships with in their final year on Lake Avenue.
What also makes this program unique is the lack of faculty presence with the senior-freshman brothers. Since the purpose of the program is to strengthen bonds between students, faculty have very little involvement, and seniors and freshmen are expected to make it their own. Mr. Dagenais makes his point for the program for the seniors to really lead the charge to make this program as special as it can be for all of the brothers involved.
“I think that it’s a great program, but you guys are the ones who are breathing life into it…I think it’s gotta be student led for it to really happen,” Mr. Dagenais exclaimed.
With the transition from middle school to high school, freshmen excitement has been nothing short of enthusiastic. The program certainly has made this transition easier for them as they have someone to look up to, give them guidance, and be there when they need them. In the beginning of the year, Cole Erickson was very eager to jump into high school when he learned Greg Ey would be his Big Brother.
“He’s like a mentor to me. I really look up to him, and he’s been my guide for inspiration. Since we have a lot of similar interests, it’s easier for me to talk to him,” Cole stated.
The bond between a senior and freshman is vital in a place such as Boys’ Latin. It’s a tight-knit community where everyone knows everyone, and the Big Brother program has already shown to only strengthen the bonds between classmates. Griffin uses BL’s environment as an advantage for students to really connect and have the ability to be vulnerable with each other.
“We’re able to be comfortable with each other, and we’re able to show our true selves here. Just being more human, and opening up and talking to other people you normally wouldn’t is something that this program can really do,” Griffin said.
As the year goes on, more activities will be made with the seniors and freshmen to strengthen these bonds and also create some everlasting memories for both brothers. On October 17, Griffin will be holding an ice cream social for the brother pairings, and he hopes that the success of the social will lay the foundation for the rest of the activities throughout the rest of the year.
Categories: BL Spotlight