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Xavier’s 2018 HALOs & Freshmen!

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Rylee Mangan

The students of Xavier work together to welcome Freshmen and transfer students.

When people say that Xavier College Preparatory is unlike any other school in the Coachella Valley, they really mean it! On August 16th, about 60% of upperclassmen from Xavier waited to greet new students in front of the school. As the nervous Freshmen walked onto Xavier’s campus, their HALOs greeted them. Xavier’s HALOs were prepared to make the Freshmen transition into high school smooth and less stressful. This year’s HALO program succeeded in welcoming Xavier’s new students. Many Freshmen and transfer students agree that without their HALO guiding them on the first day, they would have been lost and more nervous for their first high school and Xavier experience.

Our school places an importance on creating a family community and including everyone. The HALO Program unites all grade levels and establishes a connection between the upperclassmen and lowerclassmen, something that other schools do not offer. The upperclassmen intend to make new students feel welcome while adjusting to a brand new environment. This program helps Freshmen and transfer students become situated in high school with the aid of an experienced leader. The HALOs walked new students to take their photos, led them through the textbook checkout, guided them to their lockers, and introduced them to Xavier’s campus and their classes.

Mrs. Figueroa has been the head of the HALO Program for the past two years. She believes that there is something special about the new students knowing how excited Xavier is to welcome them to our community. According to Figueroa, SLC is planning to continue this program throughout the year by hosting multiple events that allow the HALOs and their students to develop stronger relationships. She stated, “The most special part of the program is that it represents what our school does, forming students with and for others. The HALO program highlights just that, forming current students to work with and for our incoming students. This program gives current students the opportunity to welcome, encourage, and lead students into a successful school year.”

 Upperclassmen Brianna Bocca echoed others thoughts about the HALO program. She said she wanted to be a part of this unique program to make a difference and to help with the Freshmen transition into high school. Bocca was a HALO in both her junior and senior years; she loves helping others. In fact, a majority of the upperclassmen said they participate in this program for this simple reason: they love welcoming new students. This program is huge around campus and many students look forward to participating. In the spring before the next school year, students are signing up and preparing to lead their new students.

HALO Nicole Solis (Junior) with her Freshman Juliana Elly.

Many Freshmen and transfer students truly feel positively impacted by this program. Ninth grader Cailee Johnson agrees that the HALO program helped her transition into Xavier. She said she felt more comfortable communicating with people because of her HALO. One of the new activities this year on campus was the Freshman Social. This event was hosted the day before school and introduced all the Freshmen to each other. Johnson felt that the Social helped her connect with more of the Freshmen–seeing them outside of school made introductions less formal. Johnson added, “Yes, I definitely talk to a lot more upperclassmen, and I do not think I would be as close to them if it were not for this program.”

The HALO program is where Xavier students become “men and women with and for others” out of the goodness of their hearts. There is no material reward for participation in this program. The students believe their reward is helping those feel accepted to Xavier. Figueroa believes that so many students participate in the HALO program due to our intense school spirit. She said that our upperclassmen take great pride in bringing in more students to our school’s family community. At the end of the day, Xavier students’ willingness to serve others is one of the many reasons why our school is unlike any other.

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About the Writer
Rylee Mangan, Writer
I am currently a senior at Xavier College Prep. I am the Vice President of Canisius and the Vice President for the Gender Equality Club. I also represent the school through the Ambassador Program. I have attended Xavier all four years. I plan to attend college on the west coast in the fall of 2019....
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Xavier’s 2018 HALOs & Freshmen!