By DEBISHA DEY, junior
To welcome the incoming freshmen to JP Stevens, the H.A.W.K.S. (Helping Another Wonderful Kid Succeed), hosted its annual orientation on August 27. Every year, the H.A.W.K.S. help the incoming students adjust to their new school. By meeting their new classmates, learning about the school itself, and finding their new classes, the freshmen learned what it took to start their high school career on the right foot. This event could not have been as successful without the teamwork and diligent efforts of students and faculty members. “About a hundred students and teachers volunteered to cut their summer short in order to help the freshmen adjust to high school.” Mr. Glassberg, one of the advisors of H.A.W.K.S. stated. “Freshmen orientation is my favorite day of the year because it represents the best of what JP is all about.”
Even though these freshmen were still on their “summer sleep schedules,” there wasn’t a single yawn in the auditorium once the band started playing its fight song. Ms. Pawlikowski then entered to give them a warm welcome to JP and encouraged the freshmen to own every second of every day, as high school goes by quickly.
Matt Bellace, a motivational speaker and stand-up comedian, then began to talk and discussed his book, A Better High, which promoted healthier ways to stay positive, like laughing, playing sports, and having hobbies, instead of taking drugs.
After the freshmen were thoroughly entertained by Dr. Bellace’s presentation, they met their homeroom representatives in their future homerooms. Presenters from H.A.W.K.S. taught them about basic school rules, the advantages of the library, ways to manage time wisely, and other helpful tips. Freshman Hardik Veguru commented, “In middle school, we did not need to focus as much but by going to each classroom, I was able to learn about ways to do the best I can here.”
In their assigned homerooms, the students, with the help of their representatives, received their locks, lockers, and planners before they were allowed to roam the hallways and get accustomed to the school that would become part of their everyday routine. With the help of the H.A.W.K.S. members and faculty, the freshmen walked to each of their classes, realizing that it would take careful planning to go to each class without being late. Junior H.A.W.K.S. member Nidhi Singh stated, “To be honest, it felt great to help the freshmen out. As the day went on, I realized that by helping the underclassmen, I could help them with lessons I had to learn the hard way.”
Senior Pallab Paul, president of H.A.W.K.S., was impressed by the outcome of the event. He stated, “Though it was hectic at times with a few lost freshman wandering the halls, the H.A.W.K.S. members constantly impressed me with how helpful they were when it came to leading the freshmen.” The freshmen definitely ended the day with an optimistic outlook and were prepared to start the year with their best foot forward.