LAKE STATION | River Forest High School freshman Intel Pintakaew likes being able to turn to senior mentor Heidy Gallegos for advice.
"The school's mentoring program offers a great opportunity for everyone to learn and to help guide us through high school. It's great to learn from their mistakes as well as their successes," Pintakaew said.
Pintakaew and fellow freshmen were urged to rely on senior mentors at a program last week. They then signed a pledge to graduate in three and a half years.
Former teacher Mark Flueckiger, who led the program, urged the freshman class of 2016 to get their high school diplomas.
"What is all four years about? Your diploma is your ticket to the future. It's a symbol of where you want to go," Flueckiger said.
Students can do or be whatever they want but must first earn their high school diploma, he said.
Flueckiger told freshman to take advantage of the school's mentoring program.
"The teachers and seniors have already been where you're going," Flueckiger said.
River Forest Principal Shayne Snider told freshmen that there's been a steady increase in the number of graduates since he started at the school six years ago.
He'd like to see that number continue to climb.
Snider said he'd love for the class of 2016 to have a 90 percent graduation rate.
"It's up to you. Your a good class. Buckle down and pay attention," Snider told the students.