Tiger Ambassadors match freshmen with first friends


Juniors Isaac Jones, Hollyn Weideman, Claire Blake, and Martha Van Valer tell Tiger Ambassadors Club members about volunteer opportunities on Feb. 13. Photo by Sydney Greenwood.

Sydney Greenwood, Reporter

Tiger Ambassadors Club strives to assist new students with transitioning to FHS.  It consists of sophomores, juniors and seniors, or ambassadors, who are matched with a freshman or a new student.  The job of the ambassador provides a first connection with a new student.  Students are matched based on similar interests and hobbies.

“We have a bunch of ambassadors who applied, and we accepted them after reviewing their application.  We text them individually saying, ‘This is a new student who relates to your personality’ because they filled out what we call personality profile or a questionnaire and they talk about their interests and hobbies,” club co-founder and junior Martha Van Valer said.  “If they’re both involved in volleyball, which is one of the matches we had, then they can get connected and get involved in the school, which is our biggest priority.”

Van Valer, along with juniors Hollyn Weideman and Claire Blake, created the club with guidance counselor Matt Swaim, who had been aiming to form the club for some time.  That same week, a student new to Fishers, junior Isaac Jones, approached Swaim about an idea for an English project that eventually turned into Tiger Ambassador’s Club.  Jones had a similar club at his previous school, Highland High School in Illinois.

“We would be able, as Isaac coined, to be their first friend, not like their best friend,” Van Valer said.

Tiger Ambassador’s Club usually meets in the LGI at 7 a.m. on Tuesday mornings.  If a student is interested in becoming an ambassador, they can find an application and a teacher recommendation form in the guidance office.  New students can also find a form in the guidance office to be matched with an ambassador.