At the Brother Joseph C. Fox Latin School in Uniondale, opportunities for students to assume leadership roles are always abundant, but during the 2016-17 school year the school decided to begin a new leadership program: Latin School Leaders.

The members of this program consist of 30 eighth-grade students who exhibit leadership qualities and are selected by the teachers of the Latin School. The students in this program are each assigned to a sixth- or seventh-grade homeroom that they will mentor for the year. The eighth-grade mentors visit their “adopted” homeroom twice a week. During the 30-minute period that the leaders are in those homerooms, they give students tips on how to study, help students with homework, speak about upcoming school events, help students make friends and are always available to give advice.

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Although in the beginning of the school year many Latin School Leaders had trouble having their students open up to them, the students soon became close with their Latin School Leaders and developed unbreakable bonds with their new eighth-grade friends.

I am a Latin School Leader and can assure you that I consider each and every student in my seventh-grade homeroom a friend, and I believe the feeling is reciprocated. One sixth-grade student says, “My Latin School Leaders helped me adjust to the environment of the Latin School. They were always there for me to talk to, both inside and outside of homeroom.” What began as a simple community service project has resulted in blossoming friendships between eighth-graders and underclassmen that will last a lifetime.