Rachel's Challenge: Marcus High's new students become new friends

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by JOHN McCAA

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WFAA

Posted on September 20, 2012 at 7:23 PM

Updated Thursday, Sep 20 at 7:23 PM

FLOWER MOUND -- It's never easy being the new kid in school, but at Marcus High School in Flower Mound, they are trying to make the transition easier.

Imagine walking into a crowded cafeteria as a new student, looking around for an open table to eat your lunch and suddenly, all eyes are on you.

"Moving's hard. I know, I've moved before," said student Tyler Berger. "So it's nice to just start off knowing someone, so you aren't walking around the school, having no idea where you are going or know, like, anybody."

Berger moved to Marcus High School from a small school in Kansas. Now, he's helping others adjust to new surroundings.

He's part of a group called "Friends of Rachel," named for Columbine victim Rachel Scott.

The group sponsored a student mixer Thursday to help new classmates get to know each other.

"It's just kind of like how life is -- you need someone to have your back," said senior Olivia Barr. "You need someone to rely on, to count on, to be able to talk to and just kind of vent, because if you keep everything up, everything's going to explode and it's just kind of a way to stand up against bullying, also."

Marcus High has more than 3,000 students, so it would be easy to get lost in the crowd, but events like this have already made a difference.

"I've already seen a few new students this morning that were talking and had met, and were already hanging out at lunch today, so we're hopeful that will continue," said Marcus High School Counselor Cary Gifford.

Marcus High School has more than 160 new students this year, many of whom were at Thursday's mixer.

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