Roman 2 Roman: An Inside View

Jessica Flohr Whether you are in a new school or simply a new building, the first day of freshman year can be terrifying. Roman 2 Roman, the mentorship program that pairs incoming 9th graders with an upperclassman mentor may help ease the fear some feel starting their high school experience at Latin. Upperclassmen mentors provide their freshmen mentees with a friendly face to say “hi” to in the hallways and also serve as a resource for answering questions–ranging from elective recommendations to the best item in the cafeteria. Having been an overwhelmed freshman on my first day, and now, a current mentor and member of the Roman 2 Roman Steering Committee, I greatly appreciate all the program has to offer.   For example, the close connection that I was able to build with my mentor made me feel more welcome at Latin, especially coming from a different school. Not only did my mentor provide a familiar face, but she also put up with my countless questions about classes, clubs, and finals. Freshman Maya Gray explained that her “favorite part of R2R was definitely being able to hang out with a sophomore and form a really great friendship,” which is exactly what the program aims to do: foster new relationships. Similarly, sophomore George Landsberg shared that one of his favorite things about R2R is getting to know members of the freshman class, demonstrating how beneficial this program is for everyone. While Steering Committee members strive to make the best matches possible, not every mentor and mentee will click. I have heard some say that they feel like they can’t relate to their mentor or mentee, or that one person is putting in a lot of effort to form a connection while the other is not. We encourage those who feel like they are struggling to form a connection with their mentee or mentor to ask another pair to join or to talk to the Steering Committee for help to get the most out of the R2R program. There is also a feedback form available for an online communication option. This year, the R2R Steering Committee worked hard to plan new and exciting activities for mentors and mentees. The most memorable activities include playing “HQ” and making sandwiches for the homeless. We also successfully implemented “family pods,” which gave mentor/mentee pairs a larger support network. Additionally, look out for activities like the return of dodgeball, or even a game of kickball outside when the weather is cooperative! Although Roman 2 Roman has only been a part of Latin life for a few years, it has already become an important part of the community. I am excited to see how the program continues to grow and flourish in the future!]]>