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PGC leaders share their experiences working with 9th graders

Jamal Quinones
PGC leaders and freshmen enjoy a pizza party.

Every Wednesday afternoon, junior and seniors meet in small groups of freshmen as part of the school’s Peer Group Connection or PGC program.

“Peer Group Connection (PGC) is a class to allow freshmen to get guided by juniors and seniors so it would be easier for them to get through 1st year of high school,’’ Monique Paes, a teacher who helps run the program said. “ I have a total of 23 PGC leaders,’’ she said. “This helps teach the juniors leadership. PGC started in 2016 and I joined as a teacher in PGC at 2021. So far I love teaching these kids how to be a leader.”

Peer Group Connection (PGC) is recruiting sophomores and juniors right now who will be juniors and seniors in September 2024.   Interested? Junior PGC leaders share their views on the experience:

How is your experience on PGC so far ?
“My experience in PGC has been good so far but it’s hard to deal with 9th graders and I want to make them mature. ” – Gabby Pinelli
“My experience in PGC has been good but sometimes it’s a little irritating to deal with the 9th graders.” – Priscilla Pol
“It’s been pretty good as it helped me grow a lot of skills and I love my students In PGC.” _- Lauraine Acosta
“My experience in PGC so far is good. ” – Leonardo Burgos
“ It’s chill and calm.”- Scarlette Manzanarez

What is your goal for PGC this year?
“My goal for this year is to gain a better relationship with the freshmen and make them feel welcomed.” – Gabby Pinelli
“My goal is to get all the freshmen out of their shadow and communicate with others. ”- Priscilla Pol
“My goal for this year is to build closer relationships with my students and help them get through their 1st year of high school.” – Lauraine Acosta
“My goal is to help the Freshmen get through this year.” – Leonardo Burgos
“My goal is getting to know the freshmen batter.” – Scarlette Manzanarez

What is your least favorite thing about PGC?
“One of my least favorite things about PGC is that sometimes the freshman don’t take this class seriously and don’t pay any attention during activities.” – Gabby Pinelli
“One thing that is my least favorite is when the freshmen don’t listen to me.” – Priscilla Pol
“ One thing that is my least favorite about being a PGC leader is that sometimes the students have a bad attitude and don’t show up in class.” – Lauraine Acosta
“ My least favorite thing in PGC is when all the students are loud and I have to raise my voice to get their attention.”_- Leonardo Burgos
“ My least favorite about PGC is when the freshmen don’t know how to listen.” – Scarlette Manzanarez

What is one thing you want to improve or change in PGC?
“The thing that I want to improve in PGC is to engage the 9th graders to do their work and make the shy kids communicate with others in the group. ” – Gabby Pinelli
“One thing I want to improve is to try to get everyone to participate in activities, “ – Priscilla Pol
“ I want to improve how I express myself and I want to bring more to the table when it comes to being a PGC leader.” – Lauraine Acosta
“ Not really. I wouldn’t want to change anything in PGC. It’s alright.” – Leonardo Burgos

Would you still consider continuing PGC when you are a senior?
“I don’t consider continuing PGC next year because I want to focus more on my college class and other programs.” – Gabby Pinelli
“I don’t want to continue PGC next year because I want to get a job and focus on college” – Priscilla Pol
“ No, because next year I want to focus on other things like college, job and stuff.” 0 Lauraine Acosta
“ Probably not because I prefer not being in front of a crowd with students on Wednesday.” – Leonardo Burgos
“ Not really because I would like to work in this school.” – Scarlette Manzanarez

What are the advantages and disadvantages of being a PGC leader?

“Some advantages of PGC is that it looks good in my resume and I get to leave school early on Friday. Some disadvantage for me is that I couldn’t take art class and I love art” – Gabby Pinelli
“ One advantage of PGC is that it helps me become a better leader and improve my communication skills. One disadvantage is not being a co-leader with my best friend.” _- Priscilla Pol
“One advantage is the opportunity PGC has and One advantage is you can’t miss anything and always have to show up.” _- Lauraine Acosta
“One advantage of being a PGC leader is that I get to leave early on Friday.” – Leonardo Burgos

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About the Contributors
Fahima Akter
Fahima Akter, Managing Editor
Fahima Akter is a thoughtful student who enjoys hanging out with her friends. She has been selected as a Press Pass NYC Fellow.
Jamal Quinones
Jamal Quinones, Photo Editor
Jamal Quinones has many talents that even surprise him. He is a writer, photographer, an athlete and is known as the  "The Rubik's Cube Master."

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