Ignition program helped me adjust


(from right to left) c/o 2026 John Paul de Jesus, Cheska Orias, c/o 2023 Eric Antonio, c/o 2026 Sean Willem A. Giron, Patrick Bono, and Channon Mikaele-Gasper take a group photo after a Fuel Session.

Sean Willem A. Giron, reporter

I am a student with many things to adjust to. I moved to Hawaii two years ago, and McKinley is my first American school. The school system in the Philippines is very different from the school system in America. For example, students have designated classrooms and the teachers are the ones walking from room to room. My school in the Philippines also has far fewer students than McKinley. These are just some of the differences that made adjusting to McKinley daunting.

On the first day of school, I was quiet and kept to myself. I watched everyone as they talked with one another and caught up with stories of how their summer was. Seeing all of this made me realize that I didn’t know anyone at all, and I expected that I would be alone for at least a whole quarter. That was until I had my first activity with my Ignition group.

Ignition is a program that helps freshmen adjust to high school and find friends. Juniors or seniors mentor a group of freshmen, leading them in many icebreaker activities, held in meetings called fuel sessions. Throughout the year they hold these fuel sessions to get to know each other more, whilst having a running theme of the importance of communication and trust. 

Through this program, I have gotten to know more about my group mates, and have become close friends with some of them. Without the Ignition program, I might still be going through my school days without anybody to talk to or hang out with. The Ignition program has helped me turn my school year into a wonderful one by helping me find friends to make memories with.

The program also gives students an opportunity to be close to a junior or senior. It is beneficial to have an upperclassman to look up to, as they can give you advice about high school life, especially because they have gone through two or three years of high school already. They could also be a brother or sister you can go to whenever you need help with something. The Ignition program has this activity called Mentor Mentee, where the mentors would walk with a student to catch up on things. It’s a time for freshmen to share their experiences in school and seek advice from their mentors.

The Ignition program has been very helpful to me and others like me. It is a wonderful program that has earned its place in McKinley. It helps students feel welcome as they join the community and become a Tiger. The program has inspired me to try and volunteer in the program too, hoping to help future freshmen adjust to high school life and have a wonderful school year filled with memories.