Crossing the Bridge to Haverford

Ms. Heather Stinson (right) with new Third Formers during the Bridge program, July 7-11, 2019 – photo by Ms. Sarah Leonard

Although not many people know it, every summer Mr. Fifer and a group of teachers host an orientation program called Bridge, which welcomes the new incoming Third Formers. For one week, new Third Formers come to Haverford to meet each other and participate in many activities.

     The goal of the Bridge Program is to bring together the new students before the first day of classes to familiarize them with Haverford and with each other, so they already have some friends on the first day of high school.

     On the first of the program, Fourth Former Mitav Nayak said that there was minimal awkwardness.

     “The staff did a very good job making everyone feel comfortable,” Nayak said. “We were all new and didn’t really know much.”

     At the Bridge Program, held July 7-11, new students engaged in icebreakers and met with faculty as well as upperclassmen to speak,  preparing them for their upcoming high school experience. 

     One part of the introduction included speeches from Dr. Nagl, Mr. Andrén, and the leaders of the Honor Council. 

“When you go into the first day of school, you already have a feel for the environment.”

Mitav Nayak ’22

     “That way when you go into the first day of school, you already have a feel for the environment,” Nayak said. 

     Later in the week, new ninth graders from Agnes Irwin joined the boys to get to know each other and work together on fun games and challenges.

     Incoming Third Former Brendan Leary said, “[The Bridge Program] helped me transition into Haverford, because of the faculty, staff, and students who were very kind and welcoming during our introduction to the Haverford community, as well as meeting new people I hope will become my close friends throughout high school.”

     A few years after Sixth Former Yan Graf participated in the program, he said, “The Bridge Program really made me feel more secure when I first joined in ninth grade. It’s a fond experience that I look back on with those people I met. For the new freshmen, it’s a common experience, and even somewhat exclusive because not many people know about it.”