We are biased (all schools are), but each year we witness the genuine kindness of our students as they embrace new members of our community. This visible demonstration of compassion affirms the example we try to set as adults in the community, and leads to a remarkably steady, positive student culture on campus. Social groups transcend teams or afternoon activities because of our focus on intentional small group experiences in dormitories, advisory groups, and off-campus programs. Proctor’s Big Brother/Big Sister program reinforces this same message of compassion by pairing returning students with new students in a mentoring relationship.
On Monday evening, Proctor’s Residential Life Coordinator Kyle Tremblay, Student Health and Wellness Coordinator Megan Hardie, and Assistant Head of School Karin Clough kicked off this year’s version of the Brother/Sister Program with a welcome party for each group.
Returning Sisters welcomed their new student counterpart to Cangiano House for a welcome dinner hosted by the Tremblay Family. Over the course of the evening, each sister was able to share about herself with her partner, talk about challenges she faces, and goals for the year ahead. The relationship will be a yearlong one through which each new girl will have a peer mentor with whom she can talk through issues, ask questions she may not feel comfortable asking an adult, and ask for guidance as she navigates life at Proctor with confidence.
Immediately following the welcome dinner for the Sisters Program, returning boys gathered in the upstairs of the Proctor Dining Commons for an introduction to the Brothers program for the 2016-2017 school year. After pairings were given, small groups of boys scattered throughout the Dining Commons to share phone numbers, plan future meetings, and talk about any issues that had come up during the first few days on campus. While the nature of the conversations within the Brothers program will differ from the Sisters program, the underlying goal remains the same: to provide a peer mentor with whom a new student can ask questions without judgement and learn how to embrace with confidence all Proctor has to offer.
Over the course of the next ten months, each of these Brother or Sister pairings will develop a unique relationship. Some will blossom into lifelong friendships, others will meet regularly throughout the year and exchange thoughts on life at Proctor. All will leave a positive impact on both students. We recognize everyone needs a mentor in their lives, and we recognize that the mentor often gains as much from the relationship as the mentee as they experience compassion and empathy in a whole new way. We are excited to see how the Big Brother/Big Sister program continues to grow at Proctor as we work to embed an appreciation for, and willingness to exhibit, compassion into each of our student’s lives.