Seniors Olivia Sherman and Sofia DiMella created ‘IB Buddies’ as part of their CAS (Creativity, Activity, and Service) Project, which is required for all International Baccalaureate Diploma candidates.
“Having a junior buddy will provide a good experience for us to give back to the IB Diploma,” said Sofia. “Helping out the juniors helps us seniors also take on leadership and mentoring roles.”
The IB Buddies system pairs Year One IB Diploma candidates juniors with Year Two seniors. The seniors serve as mentors, helping their junior counterparts through the diploma process over the year.
“We seniors are more than halfway to earning our diplomas and have learned a lot along the way,” said Sofia. “I remember how overwhelming starting this process was, and it’s comforting to know that we are here for the juniors during this new transition.
Sofia and Olivia worked together to pair buddies by first creating a survey for all participants, focusing on their interests in and out of school, as well as the topics the juniors plan to write about for their IB Extended Essays. The survey answers were used to match juniors with a senior with similar essay topics and interests.
Olivia and Sofia hosted an initial get-together for all IB Diploma candidates, during which they introduced buddies, provided icebreaker questions so they could learn more about their buddies, and played games.
“I think the most rewarding part of the process was seeing everyone talking to their IB buddies and getting along with them,” said Olivia.
IB Buddies are encouraged to meet regularly throughout the year, and there will be scheduled check-ins once or twice each quarter. Sofia and Olivia are also hoping to plan a field trip for both seniors and juniors at some point during the year.
Olivia added, “It was nice to see the physical execution of what we had been planning, and to have it work out so well after the work we put into it was very rewarding.”