Ignite program prospers at Beamer

The incoming freshmen across the district do not have to fear being knocked around the halls, stuffed into garbage cans or getting slammed into lockers anymore.

  • Tuesday, September 6, 2011 8:59pm
  • News

With an assembly on the first day of school

By Denali Pavlich-Wheeler, Todd Beamer High School student

The incoming freshmen across the district do not have to fear being knocked around the halls, stuffed into garbage cans or getting slammed into lockers anymore.

These myths are being put to rest in Federal Way with the institution of Ignite, a mentorship program focused on improving freshman performance and relationships in school.

Although Ignite began in the district many years ago at Federal Way High School, it has been picking up a lot of momentum around the four high schools over the past two to three years.

In Ignite, sophomore, junior, and senior leaders are chosen to be “mentors.” They are given the responsibility of aiding a group of five freshmen throughout their entire first year of high school. Mentors meet with their freshman “mentees” on a bi-monthly basis and discuss lessons such as effective time management skills, studying strategies, tips on how to avoid social drama, and other obstacles presented freshman year.

“Freshmen worry about what to buy for lunch or what part of the hall to avoid during passing period,” says Todd Beamer Ignite advisor Brian Graham. “The littlest things feel like the biggest problems in the beginning of high school. Ignite helps freshmen to feel more prepared for those hang-ups.”

Ignite was originally designed with two purposes: to improve academic performance and to build a community that supports and challenges. The change inspired by the program did not stop there. As the newest high school in the district, Beamer students have faced challenges uniting across grade levels as well as between the school’s three academies.

“I feel like Ignite has had a huge part in not only helping freshmen, but bringing the entire school together,” senior mentor Yusra Hamidani said. “There’s a sense of absolute school pride and support that was missing my freshman year (the year before Ignite was introduced). Ignite helped to foster school unity faster that it would have happened at other new schools.”

The initial intention to aid freshmen has not been forgotten. When asked what Ignite meant to him his freshman year, former mentee Carson Wright said, “It was really cool knowing that an upperclassmen besides my brother really cared about me.”

Considering all the positive changes, it seems that Ignite is here to stay.

 

More in News

King County parks levy headed to August primary ballots

Voters will be asked to decide whether to approve the levy on Aug. 6.

South King Tool Library still under construction

Nonprofit officials are aiming to open the tool library in June.

Sequoyah eighth-grader shines as exemplary leader in classroom and community

Federal Way Mirror Scholar of the Month for April is Sami Bond.

Walkers rest amid the trees at Island Center Forest on Vashon Island, which is part of King County. Many trees around Western Washington are struggling, including Western hemlock on Vashon, likely from drought stress. Photo by Susie Fitzhugh
King County forests are facing new challenges

Hot, dry summers are stressing native tree species in Western Washington.

Federal Way holds firm to camping ban in light of federal ruling

City says it does not criminalize homeless for sleeping outdoors on public property.

South King Fire and Rescue commissioner remains hospitalized

Commissioner James Fossos is in satisfactory condition at Harborview as of Tuesday.

From homelessness to homeowner: Domestic violence survivor earns fresh start in FUSION program

Local home construction company Lennar Homes fully furnishes home for single mother of four.

Federal Way police investigating rape allegations against former high school coach

The suspect is not affiliated with any high school in Federal Way, according to police.

Most Read