What is the Loyola Hawkeye Program?
All Grade 9 students are linked up with a Loyola Mentor to help with the transition into secondary school. Grade 11 students involved in the Hawkeye Program will help Grade 9s to get involved at Loyola, to be there to answer school-related questions, and to encourage these new students to make the most of their high school experience. Grade 11 mentors are assigned to small groups of Grade 9s so that mentors have time to build a positive relationship with each Grade 9. Mentors will have their locker beside their Grade 9 groups. This makes daily contact between the students easier.
Who are the mentors?
In Grade 10, students apply to become Grade 11 Mentors. These applicants are interviewed and are carefully selected by staff at Loyola. The new mentors are then trained at a leadership camp in the spring of their Grade 10 year.
How do mentors help with the transition?
The transition to high school can sometimes create a lot of anxiety. Our mentors know firsthand and remember what it was like to be in Grade 9 – they were in the same situation just two years earlier! The role of the mentor is to build positive peer relationships and help the Grade 9s to get involved. At Loyola, we want all students to feel safe, welcomed and excited to be a part of our community. The mentors have a special role in making this happen.
What is a mentor captain?
A mentor captain is a Grade 12 student who was involved in the Hawkeye Program during the previous year. The role of the mentor captain is to help organize events and assist our Grade 11 mentors as they get to know their Grade 9s. To become a mentor captain, students must apply in the spring of their Grade 11 year.
Hawkeye Transition events:
Grade 8 – Café Night
Grade 9 – Orientation Day
Grade 9 – Friendfest
We asked our mentors to share some of their favourite Mentor Moments, here are a few:
“I was given the opportunity to mentor a grade 9 student who was new to the Loyola community. Not being from a feeder school she really was entering a very new part of her life. Being able to support her as a mentor and friend and watching her become comfortable at Loyola was such a rewarding experience. This program is such a great way for students to be themselves and comfortable throughout their four years of high school”
“Cheering on one of my mentees at her championship basketball game is my favourite moment. She played on the senior team, so it was a big deal for her. Supporting her built our relationship more into a friendship”
“I have built a relationship with my mentees by making sure that my mentees could talk to me at all times. Since then I text and we talk about how school is going, what’s going on in their lives, and getting to know each other a little bit more. Along with this I smile and talk to them whenever I see them in the halls and make sure they are doing alright”
“During grade 9 orientation, one of my mentees was scared that he was going to be bullied during grade 9 because of a physical condition. I assured him that if he ever had a problem he could come and talk to me, and I would help him deal with it”
“I loved all the moments where I could help my mentees and give them advice. Sometimes it was just as simple as telling them where a classroom was, but it was still nice to know I was helping. I got the chance to tutor one of my mentees too in math, and that was great”
“My most memorable moment was convincing my mentee to join the basketball team. She told me she played before but didn’t think she was good enough. I told her she may as well try out, and then decide whether or not she would stick with it. She ended up making it, and loving every moment. She wants to do it in years to come and has made new friends. I was so happy for her”
“My best moment was seeing what I was doing make a difference to someone. I had helped a new student to the school feel welcomed, and showed him around to his classes. Little by little I saw him make friends and talk to other students. Seeing him adapt to the school and our environment made me feel like what I did was important”
“My mentor moment was helping one of my mentees with their math homework because they were really struggling. This was a really meaningful moment for both of us because we have developed a friendship that was trustworthy enough for her to ask for my help and I was happy to help her”
Hawkeye Mentor Program
“My extremely shy mentee finally opened up to me and leaned on me for support on a difficult day. All semester I had been trying to get to know her and get her to trust me, and one day it happened. She saw me by our lockers and with tears in her eyes, ran up to me and hugged me. She told me why she was so upset and we talked about it and in the end she left smiling. This was such a rewarding day and so memorable”