Link application process turns more selective

April 16, 2009 — by Anna Shen and Jenny Zhang

As hopeful students apply for Link Crew over the next few weeks, returning Link Crew Leaders may realize that the application process has become much more selective than in previous years.

Link Crew, a group that was organized several years ago, tries to “help freshmen feel connected to the school community and help them transition to the high school scene academically, socially and emotionally,” according to guidance counselor Alinna Satake.

In an attempt to improve the Link program, guidance counselor Frances Saiki and Satake have made new additions to the selection process, including an interview for each applicant and student-nominations by teachers.

“The way you get really qualified candidates is you have to put more time into the process of finding the best candidates,” said Satake.

Because an application itself does not always accurately portray a person’s true character and personality, the addition of an interview helps Saiki and Satake view every applicant’s personality up close.

“[The interview process] is good practice for students,” said Satake. “It’s helpful because sometimes on paper, people may not know how to say the right things on a resume, but they’re actually very enthusiastic and would be great for Link Crew.”

Many students agree that this new addition will be beneficial to finding good Link Leaders.

“The new interview might give the counselors a better scope on who is going to apply,” said junior Victor Wong, who was a Link Leader last year and is applying again this year. “Some people in the past might have gotten by with an [insincere] application, but the coming year, [Saiki and Satake] might actually see if the applicant is someone they want handling freshmen.”

Qualities Saiki and Satake are looking for in an ideal Link Leader are a willingness to accept the time commitment, enthusiasm and, most importantly, a positive attitude toward freshmen.

“[Saiki and I] are looking for people [who] really care about freshmen and aren’t afraid to be goofy and will put themselves out there,” said Satake. “It’s not about looking cool or treating your freshmen like little smurfs. It’s about really having a heart to care for their well-being, making sure you are committed to following up on them, and being committed to a group of kids.”

The turn-out of Link applicants has diminished from past years; there are currently about 150 applicants, compared to more than 200 last year.