Bulldog Buddies offers help to incoming freshmen and transfers 

Olivia Mendoza

Walking onto campus for the first time is just one other stepping stone before adulthood. The uncertainty of a student’s environment, intellectual capabilities, and social status is all thrown up into the air. But they do not have to go through it alone. And this is where Bulldog Buddies comes into play. 

Created by junior Carol Nasr, and advisor Stacy Gillespie, Bulldog Buddies is meant to show eighth graders transitioning into high school, along with transfer students the resources and opportunities available to them on campus. This buddy system ensures that newer students feel welcomed at Ayala. 

“We want to be a club where people can come to get information like an information directory,” said Nasr. “Especially transfers during the year can come and make friends because it’s so saddening to see them sitting there not knowing who to talk to.”

The campus and district provide Ayala with a plethora of beneficial opportunities for students to succeed, and for many, they miss out on the chance to join at the right time. 

“I didn’t know about dual enrollment when I was a freshman,” said junior Brandon Lee. “That would have been helpful to know that there are just some other options for schooling.” 

Nasr shares that at the beginning of her high school career, she was unaware of the resources provided by the school, and wanted to ensure that none of her peers felt that they were lost. 

“During a School Site Council meeting, Carol brought up [the idea],” said advisor Mrs. Gillespie. “We brainstormed after the meeting and came up with Bulldog Buddies. I really hope to see this program grow so that every new and transfer student has a peer to help them adjust comfortably.” 

Bulldog Buddies’ target night is during eight grade night, where incoming freshmen come to Ayala to get a feel for the campus, and see what clubs they are interested in joining. 

“Our plan is to have incoming students sign up [to see] if they would like a Bulldog Buddy, and as students transfer in throughout the school year, the counselors can call in the reps to introduce them to our new student,” said Mrs. Gillespie. 

After returning from distance learning, the faculty has been looking for ways to better support the students, especially for those who are less acclimated to life on campus. Unity is just one of the many goals Ayala hopes to accomplish.

Students are more than welcome to join the club, and they are looking for volunteers to fulfill their needs. 

“We want to begin getting a rep for each grade, for example if we have a transfer that is a junior, then I would come during their fourth period or after school and just show them around,” Nasr said. 

After eighth grade night, the club plans on having meetings more consistently with everyone involved. 

For anyone that is interested in becoming a Bulldog Buddy, they can reach out to either Carol Nasr or Stacy Gillespie. Their Remind code is @buddybd.