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Apache Chiefs light the way for newcomers

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     Tyler Junior College Apache Chiefs are taking leadership roles and mentoring incoming freshman students.

     “We try to get a very diverse group, as far as students, that are on varieties of different organizations on campus,” said Ash­leigh Lewis, director of First Year Experience.

     Lewis said that many of the members are from other orga­nizations such as RA’s, Apache Belles and members of Student Senate.

     The Apache Chiefs were established in 2008 to oversee new student orientation for the incoming freshmen. The members and leaders are chosen through an application and interview process with the director of the First Year Experience. The stu­dents receive a scholarship for their efforts and must maintain a 2.0 G.P.A. every semester to remain eligible. Scholarships, vary from leadership advisor’s and member’s community service hours. The scholarships are given for every fall term and vary from $500 to $1,000 dollars depending on their status in the organization.

     “The scholarship will help me benefit from my classes and my school as well as my communication skills,” said Katie Weekly.

     The scholarship is also a transferable scholarship to any member that is planning to transfer to a 4-year university or can be applied to the student’s TJC account for the following fall term.

     “Being an Apache Chief really helps you to learn how to take pride in your school,” said Carolina Espinoza, an Apache Leader.

     Their main goal is to really focus on the summer orienta­tion. “It’s very exciting and you meet new people and you have the new incoming freshmen look up to you,” said Espinoza.

     Apache Chiefs have a variety of activities that they are involved in. Some of them include class presentations, student activities, run check-ins, give guided tours of the campus and complete new student sessions before summer starts. The FYE extravaganza is also mainly led by the Apache Chiefs. They com­plete any preparations before the session starts. They also partici­pate in community service projects for each semester.

     “We try to give a goal so that way an incoming student can find his/her nitche here at TJC,” said Lewis.

     Recently Apache Chiefs traveled to the Regional Conference and won the student leadership award in Region 4. In the future, Apache Chiefs will continue their interaction with students they meet through the summer programs and make sure the incoming fresh­men have a positive first-year experience. They also strive to ensure that new students feel en­gaged and connected while entering TJC.

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