Reaching Out to Freshmen


Winta Tekle, Reporter

At the surface level, it may seem Mr. Mack, Sahuaro’s In-school Suspension Interventionist, is only focused on just that, but that doesn’t stop him from connecting to the rest of the students attending. “What I do here is two-fold. I think of it as what I do and what I should be doing,” he explains.

I had the honor of interviewing him about a new initiative to reach and aid incoming freshmen. Here’s the gist of it all: he asked upperclassmen who he believed would be exemplary mentors, and stationed them in all the hallways to help any lost freshmen the first two days of school. From here, they introduce and establish themselves as a friendly face they can ask questions to. “We had upperclassmen mentors who had a chance to speak to potential incoming freshmen, on a peer to peer level, with what might be expected of them at Sahuaro. And be able to look up to you [upperclassmen] for questions, how they should comport themselves, using yourselves [upperclassmen] as examples,” he stressed, emphasizing the importance of peer-to-peer trust and communication.

“Peer-to-peer is much more powerful than say, grown adults,” he states, and he’s completely right. Sahuaro should be a safe place for students to voice questions and concerns, and that begins with our student body. He puts it like this: “I’d rather have 1% of 100 people’s effort than 100% of my mine. If I got all you out there giving 1% of the effort I would give, it’s much better than me trying to be all things to everyone.” Mr. Mack’s gone above and beyond, but why? Simply put, he states that “somebody was that for me when I was a kid.” He’s decided to give back to the Sahuaro community in more ways than one. 

As one of Mr. Mack’s liaisons, I tried to help anyone I saw who looked lost. Walking up and down the bustling hallways had me reminiscing about my freshman year, and suddenly everything felt full circle. Committing these acts of kindness are simple, and should be something all of us strive to do.