Seniors Trust the Process with LINK


Trust the Process! Senior Leaders prepare for their fall trip with their respective LINK families.

Azaria Roberts, Staff Reporter

Downingtown West has several clubs and extracurricular activities to choose from. From sports teams to musical theatre, West has plenty of options that will surely fit your interests.

However, there is one club in particular that doesn’t exactly fit into place with the others: a club that picks its students based on emotions and mental awareness instead of informational meetings and participant fees. LINK is a mystery to some students of West and continues to increase the social diversity here in our hallways. One question on everyone’s mind is: what is the role of the LINK senior leaders?

One thing that Seniors looks forward to when it comes to LINK is the process of picking Senior Leaders–or, as they are sometimes known on the trips, “moms and dads.” The position applies to only LINK alumni who are the most cooperative, engaged, and loyal to the program and its participants. Interested applicants must start with an application which includes four short answers and/or an essay. From there, twenty lucky seniors are picked to lead the fall and spring trips.

Surprisingly, LINK advisors look for something more than LINK team spirit. According to Ms. Susanne Farnesi, faculty adviser of LINK, they “will look for a variety of different types of kids, so we’re looking for a good balance on the trip. We don’t necessarily want all loud, in your face type people; we also want some quiet, reserved and observant senior leaders.” She later revealed that they do this because the advisers want to make sure that all members of LINK have the possibility to bond with at least one senior leader. Once senior leaders are picked, the advisors spend a lot of time figuring out who is compatible with whom. They host many before school meetings to watch the behavior of the leaders to see who works best with one another.

After deciding who will be partnered together, all components of the trip are underway. The day of the trip, just before the buses are loaded, LINK members from previous trips can participate in what is called a “send-off.” The send-off is a moment of gathering where all past and present LINK members congratulate and wish the new participants luck for the journey on which these students are about to embark. It is a time for reminiscing and being thankful for the wonderful memories that were made on past trips. Even LINK members who have graduated high school come back to see their friends and help the new ones move along in the process.

Send off! Seniors Megan Gallagher (20’) and Ally Velasquez (20’) share a hug as the send off occurs.

Overall, LINK helps students of all ages make connections with each other and improves the social environment for students at Downingtown West. Megan Gallagher, a senior leader for the fall trip, tells us that she plans on dispersing positivity to her LINK family. She claims that she will be spreading “love and a sense of community, especially since a lot of people don’t feel loved and appreciated.” Megan wants everyone to feel that all LINK members have a place to call home.

In conclusion, LINK is an amazing club that deserves recognition for refining the social and mental awareness of our Downingtown West Students while inviting seniors back to trust the LINK process.