News Update: New International Student Mentoring Program fosters new friendships


Thunderous booms echo all around sophomores Claire Grunewald and Min Kim. Kim, an international student who has elected to be part of the International Student Mentoring Program, and Grunewald, her chosen mentor decided to spend their free time together bowling.

These two students have been paired up as partners for a little over a month and have had time to get to know one another.

Initially, an ice cream social in the cafeteria, where international and American students could get to know one another, allowed JC students and international students to be paired up with compatible partners.

JC students who volunteered to be mentors spend a few hours with their international students each month. The mentors offer support, guidance, and friendship for the international students by answering questions about JC, having lunch with them, and doing on and off campus activities with them.

The program, created by World Languages teacher Ashleigh Stall and Coordinator of International Student Programs Sandi Seiler, is beginning this school year.

According to Stall, the program’s idea started when she emailed Principal Madelyn Ball at the end of last school year to confront the “separation” she saw  between international and American students.

“I knew there was a struggle to create international and American friendships,” Stall said.

Currently, the program has all 15 new international students paired with 15 American students.

“I think it helps the new international students make new friends and learn more about the American society,” junior and international student Julia Lee said.

In the next few weeks, Stall and Seiler hope to have up to 56 American students paired up with the international students. This is the first month of the program, and Stall is still waiting to hear back from students on the effects of the program.

However, according to mentor and junior Grace Lee, the program is a “new groundbreaking program in JC. Many American students want to get involved and build relationships with international students. I hope this program will be continued for a long time.”

Hope Kelly is the Editor in Chief for The Patriot and