ROAR mentors attend full-day training to prep for Nov. 17 event


Photo by Thania Villagran

The 2022 ROAR directors: seniors Ayden Russo, Dayanna Sanchez, Effie Giannoudakos, and Melanie Coss.

By Thania Villagran, Reporter

On Oct. 20, ROAR Mentors attended a “Training Day” in the Learning Resource Center at West Chicago Community High School. ROAR’s advisors, it is important mentors get into a good mental state in order to show Wildcat pride and come together as a community.

ROAR mentors are field-tripped out of their classes to participate in team building activities designed to help them become better leaders.

ROAR takes place over a full-school day: students attend and make new friends with people they might not usually collaborate with. This event typically happens three times every school year.

Jennifer Culbertson, AVID teacher and ROAR adviser, explained ROAR was brought to WEGO to make students feel a part of the school. The event pushes them out of their comfort zone, and unites the school as a community.

“Mrs. Culbertson encouraged me to join, and it was one of the best decisions I’ve ever made. I met a lot of new people that are honestly they’re one of my closest friends,” said Betzy Euroriles, a senior also in her second year as a ROAR mentor.

AVID teacher and ROAR adviser Jennifer Culbertson leads a rotation in the LRC. (Photo by Thani)

While having fun and socializing is part of the experience, ROAR Mentors are equipped to handle more serious topics as well. They are trained to address sensitive issues, such as mental health and bullying, and to direct other students to get adult help when necessary. 

“The experience was rewarding due to it being free of judgment for both attendees as well as mentors. It created such a safe feeling for everyone partaking in activities and it pushed people to grow out of their comfort zone,” said Avalos, who is in his second year as a mentor.

This year’s training lasted a full school day, providing incoming mentors a chance to interact with veteran attendees, and get used to the activities that will be part of ROAR. About 30 mentors attended the training session; they were separated into smaller groups in order to encourage more participation in the rotations. 

There were four rotations ROAR Mentors cycled through on Oct. 20. Culbertson talked about potential types of students who will be attending ROAR. Social workers gave mentors more advice on how to direct students to get adult help when mentors are unable to do so. Another group spoke about how to act as a Roar Mentor, reminding the trainees that their body language is most important, and instructing them as to how they set-up and move their groups of students. Lastly, another rotation focused on creating an intro video for this year’s ROAR.

Participants engage in a series of teambuilding games on Oct. 20. (Photo by Thania)

For Euroriles, “Seeing our crew in action, and meeting new students who haven’t gotten the opportunity to be in ROAR yet” was a highlight.

The first ROAR of the year will be held Thursday, Nov. 17 the LRC. Approximately 100 students will attend: 25 per grade level.

While every student is invited to attend ROAR once in their high school career, those who have been invited and declined will not receive another invite. However, there is a waitlist in the Student Activities Center, and interested students can sign themselves up if they would like to be considered for attendance. 

For those who have attended previously, ROAR is a meaningful experience.

“It’s hard to describe how I feel towards [ROAR] because I came to fall in love with how close people get, they’re all social. We all have our problems, but ultimately, it’s like we’re just for there for the fun of it and the social aspect of it, to grow as people,” said senior Diego Avalos.