Falcon Ambassadors Begin a New Club Year

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Rachel Bregnard

the center of Tompkins High school, trapped within a labyrinth of corridors and classrooms, the Falcon Ambassadors’ clubroom stirs to life. Students, both new and old, greet each other with a swift nod. A cluster of girls gather around a circular table, each with a different board game before them. In the back of the room, several groups of students discuss the school day as they create friendship bracelets together, their fingers gingerly weaving beads through a pair of threads. Club sponsor Angie Eller watches the club members, the corner of her lips pulled into a smile. She raises a hand, the simple action silencing the bustling room, and signals for the meeting to begin.

“The entire reason Falcon Ambassadors exists is to foster a yearlong connection between old and new students. I want members to go out of their way to embody the school’s kindness,” said Eller.

Falcon Ambassadors was originally created under the pretense of providing overwhelmed students with a peaceful environment but, over the course of three years, developed into a mentor system. Under the guidance of Eller, members are encouraged to engage in outreach opportunities such as: acting as a tour guide during New Falcon Camp, a program designed to introduce incoming freshmen to the school, and Welcome Parities, an event where new students will interact with members by playing games. Another event members can attend are the Bag Stuffing Parties. Members will construct these gift bags, consisting of candy, pencils, and an uplifting note, and then distribute to anyone new on campus. However, the most popular event Falcon Ambassadors offers is Lunch Buddies. Once a student submits a request, a Falcon Ambassador member with a corresponding lunch shift will sit with the student and develop a friendship with them.

“It’s really interesting to learn where students moved from and, overall, I have a lot of fun meeting new people,” said junior Tessa Thomson, one of the Falcon Ambassador officers.

With the ongoing pandemic, students attending Katy Virtual School are unable to experience these welcome events. However, Falcon Ambassadors is transferring several of their services into an online formulate to accommodate virtual students. Although welcome parties will be hosted through Zoom, the club is still brainstorming new ways to safely introduce KVA students to the Tompkins community.

“Throughout the nation, online learning is failing to mentally support students. That’s way it’s vital for Falcon Ambassador members to introduce themselves to isolated KVA students,” said Eller.