A Freshman’s First Steps With RLC


Photo courtesy of Sarah Dooley

The RLC application sign in front of Mr.Opals door.

Freshmen and new students are taking their first steps into high school with the help of the Raptor Leadership Crew (RLC). Thanks to the help of the RLC leaders, freshmen can have a positive and fun experience in their first few days of high school with games and activities with other students and teachers.

RLC is an organization that helps students who attend Silver Creek build a community and encourages lower classmen to help care for it.

Silver Creek has been running the RLC for over 19 years and has partnered with the Silver Creek Leader Academy (SCLA) and Student Senate to help with events while stuck in quarantine. Throughout the pandemic, when schools switched online, the RLC had worked very hard to try and stay in contact with students and check up on them.

RLC applications are open to juniors and seniors who are willing to participate and help out in the school community. Sophomores who are planning to join in their junior or senior year can also sign up to reserve their spot. Over 60 juniors and seniors are filling out the sign-up applications to help the freshmen have a better experience at Silver Creek High School through their advisory classes.

The application process requires things like a good attendance record, acceptable grades, and two teacher recommendations. The available spots in the organization are limited and in 2022, the school exceeded its cap on students who could join the organization.

The RLC leaders focus on responsibility and mentoring the freshmen and newer students so they can feel secure inside the school academically and physically. They look for students who are intelligent, responsible, interested in service, and students who want to help the community around Silver Creek.

Anne Torkelson, an art teacher and a host of RLC says, “Whatever is coming their way as freshmen, how can RLC facilitate a successful experience for those students?”

RLC makes sure to do just that with things such as events or celebrations big and small.

The students in RLC look for many ways to make the freshman’s first experience of high school a good one and are willing to help with anything coming their way in the future. RLC focuses on helping students feel successful and supported in their first few weeks of high school so they are secure and don’t feel so small in large groups of people.

The upperclassmen help the new students with events such as pep rallies and games to get them to know others and demonstrate how the school works. They also help prepare them for tests such as the PSAT and finals for their classes.

They host events for the first day of school for the freshmen such as their orientations and tours of the school so the freshmen and new students can get used to the layout. For the students just coming out of middle school, their building is a lot smaller as well as their community, walking into such a big place with many people and many things to do can become overwhelming.

So the Raptor Leadership Crew takes action in order to help!

They also host events with spirit weeks! RLC participates in as many spirit days as they can to get the freshman excited and pumped up for upcoming events. They bring teachers into the mix as well to help fuel the spirit of Silver Creek.

Matthew Opal, an English teacher, another RLC leader at Silver Creek high school, says “ RLC helps create somewhat of the atmosphere and spirit of Silver Creek“.

For the upcoming years, RLC leaders also help freshmen schedule for their first and second semesters of their sophomore year classes.

So much had been taken away in the pandemic when it came to staying in contact with students, so to make up for the lost times, the RLC has hosted more events, big and small, for the freshmen. The leaders have come up with events such as a freshman barbecue and basketball games.

The BBQ event takes place after the seniors leave so they’ve gotta come back in order to host it. Having to come back after finishing high school doesn’t stop them from being encouraging and supportive to the other students there as well. The school provides most of the food in the bbq like burgers or hot dogs while the RLC students pitch in with desserts, salads, chips, or even beverages.

Smaller events for students can be things like spirit weekdays or even little personal gains like birthdays or holidays.

Participating in RLC also looks great on things like job or college applications. It is an entirely voluntary organization and is an extracurricular. Participating in the organization shows that students care about the community and are deeply involved with the school.

Becoming a mentor to the students will not only help them in the long run but it’ll also help students who participate in the organization to have a better understanding of helping the students and can move on to help others similarly.

Sadie Shipman is a seinor and another RLC leader in Silver Creek Highschool states, “RLC is a great way to build relationships with the new students”.

Sadie helps out the new students who are sophomores, juniors and seniors like herself. She makes sure they are comfortable in the new setting and encourages them to do well in their classes.

The overall goal for students in RLC is to become a mentor to newer students and help them, and freshmen, all around the school. Creating such a community with the sophomores, juniors, and seniors can create a bright future image for the freshmen as we bring them into the new atmosphere.

When students sign up for RLC, not only are they helping the freshmen have a better future in school, they’re showing them what it means to be a raptor at Silver Creek and what it means to be a part of a community. RLC also aims to strike good citizenship into the hearts of students to encourage them to help others as well, so when they are a junior or senior, they will be able to share a similar experience.

Overall, the Raptor Leadership Crew aims to be good examples to the newer students in hopes that they too can become role models for younger students who look to follow in their footsteps.