Pay it Forward pushed back

AT’s annual Pay it Forward event was delayed from this year’s scheduled date after two years to not having it due to the surge in Covid cases.
Pay it Forward, an event that encourages current students to mentor incoming students, has been moved from its original date of Jan. 15 to Mar. 19. Training practices have also been put on halt and will be resuming on Feb. 14.
Due to the spike in Covid cases from the Omicron variant, there was a concern about both the safety and participation during the event.
“At the time (of moving the date) we were going through the Covid surge and we wanted to avoid having to cancel at the last minute, having people uncomfortable to be here knowing that they may be with students that may be infected, or that they may physically not be able to be here,” said Pay it Forward Sponsor Jorge de Leon.
Pay it Forward was an idea derived from the tradition of the snowball leadership event that took place at AT back in the 1970s. Snowball was an event that shared many of the same characteristics as Pay it Forward and focused on leadership and positivity throughout the school.
The current idea of Pay it Forward is to promote and encourage students to pay it forward, do good deeds, and give back to the community.
“The goal with Pay it Forward is kind of twofold, to encourage high school students to pay the good deed forward of mentoring incoming freshmen by being core leaders or by participating as high school students to hopefully apply to be core leaders as well,” said de Leon.
During Pay it Forward there are many events that take place such as team-building exercises, conversations, orientation and tour of the school, and many other events to fill up the day in order to help students become more outgoing and get more familiar with the school itself.
In order for Pay it Forward to happen for the first time since the Covid pandemic there are many precautions being taken by those participating in the event, this includes following mask policies within the school, the amount of space there is in a room, and the number of close contact activities that are taking place.
“We are definitely continuous of the space and trying to limit some of the close contact activities,” said de Leon. “We will try to stay true to some of the activities we always do, but always with keeping in mind people’s comfort level. Obviously continuing to reinforce the mask mandate and respecting the same rule we have to during the day.”
Since there hasn’t been Pay it Forward in the past couple of years there is lots of encouragement for the current freshman and sophomores to participate and get the experience of Pay it Forward now.
Even with the accommodations made due to Covid the Pay it Forward staff is still determined to keep up the spirit of the event and make this event special for the incoming freshman that are participating in it.

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