High school students learn strategies for helping newcomers feel welcome


Photos by Yoori SungFreshman Amani Robinson presents her group’s suggestions to develop marketing strategies for youth activities on the garrison March 24 at the Hainerberg Teen Center during a training session led by School Liaison Officer Peter Witmer. Students learned ways to welcome new students and provide an accepting environment.

Photos by Yoori Sung
Freshman Amani Robinson presents her group’s suggestions to develop marketing strategies for youth activities on the garrison March 24 at the Hainerberg Teen Center during a training session led by School Liaison Officer Peter Witmer. Students learned ways to welcome new students and provide an accepting environment.

A group of Wiesbaden High School students is stepping up and volunteering their time to make the transition to a new school a little smoother for newcomers.

These Student Ambassadors learned about how to help ease new classmates’ fears and make them feel welcome in their new school at a training session March 24 at the Hainerberg Teen Center.

The purpose of the ambassador program is to quickly meet the needs of a transitioning student, said Undra Marbury-Robinson, school counselor and sponsor for the program.


“The goal of the program is for students to engage in their community quickly, smoothly and happily.”
And these Student Ambassadors are there to help their new classmates do just that.

Amani Robinson, a freshman who has been part of the program since school started, has been able to help several students already, showing them around, telling them about the school and bringing them together.
“Two of them are best friends now,” said Amani, who came from a German school before.
The training focused on three needs of incoming students: Information, to fit in and friends.

They hope to accomplish that by anticipating questions new students might have and preparing activities that will help them feel at home.

Wiesbaden High School students listened and gave feedback during a training session for Student Ambassadors.

Wiesbaden High School students listened and gave feedback during a training session for Student Ambassadors.

Activities might include connecting on social media, being paired with another student, sort of like a sponsor, hosting welcome and farewell parties and hanging out at the teen center.

Tenth grader D’Netanya Bell began the program this year and has already showed a few new students around the school, she said. Being a very social person has made her an asset for incoming students to make sure they feel welcome and know where to go, she said. And so far, she has seen her efforts pay off.

“Every new student that I’ve seen or helped out has made new friends and seems happy,” she said.
All this effort is to help make sure newcomers are not only feeling connected and have the opportunity to be a part of the community here, but also to be OK with their move, Marbury-Robinson said.

“[The program] has really been working out well,” she said. “It’s needed, it’s important, and it helps kids become a part of the community quickly.”