Pony Up Gives a Hand to Freshmen

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Mindy Cho, Writer

Each year a new wave of Freshmen enter high school – intimidated and nervous from the stacks of homework and crowded hallways filled with foreign faces of upperclassmen. Nobody can blame them for being fearful for transitioning into a completely different environment, especially without guidance. This is where Pony Up gives the students a hand.

Pony Up is a peer assistance group where Juniors and Seniors, as mentors, guide Freshmen students through the beginning of high school. Mentors usually offer advice on things like classes, teachers, time-management, and more. Their main goal is to make the Freshmen feel welcome and safe in high school.

Each month, mentors and mentees meet up in their designated room, and two mentors group up with 3-5 Freshmen. Mentors talk in depth about the standardized tests (SAT, ACT), grade point average, clubs, and other extracurricular activities. They also encourage Freshmen to go to Homecoming, sporting events, and to show school spirit by participating in dress-up days. Students also talk about the struggles they face head-on throughout the year.

“I believe that Pony Up really helps Freshmen out,” said one of our Junior mentors, “Freshmen year can be challenging and discouraging to students, but Pony Up gives them a safe place where they can just unwind and talk. It gives them the time to adjust, especially with a school this big.”

Not only do mentors just talk about the basics of high school, they do certain activities that relate to topics scheduled for the meetings.

For the first meeting, mentors do an activity which brings them and their mentees closer. One activity mentors do is Two Truths and a Lie. This is where mentees make up three statements about themselves. Two of them are true and the last one is false. The whole group ends up having to guess on which ones are the true and which is the lie.

This mentoring program isn’t only beneficial to the Freshmen, but to the upperclassmen too. Talking with younger students grants mentors to a leadership position and the chance to help others, as well as make new friends.

The next Pony Up meeting is November 7th.