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TCU’s Connections program is set on helping students find their way as individuals and leaders in the TCU community.

About 375 first-year students were present at the program’s kick-off for the new school year Wednesday afternoon. The students filled the Brown Lupton University Union Ballroom with the hopes of finding their purpose.

“It’s hard coming in as a first-year student,” said Emi Gomez. “I just hope to gain some knowledge about what to expect from college and being a leader.”

The six-week long program, which is sponsored by Student Development Services, emphasizes small group interaction and offers tools and mentorship to first-year students for their time at TCU and beyond.

“Connections is meant to provide students with opportunities in the hopes that they can maximize their time at TCU both in and outside of the classroom,” said Tyler Fisher, the assistant director of the leadership center. “We have the opportunity to assist students in building relationships with peers, upperclassmen, and faculty members,” Fisher said.

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Fisher said that most first-year students are looking to not only meet new people, but become better leaders and learn more about themselves in the process.

As Director of Operations for Connections, Darby Dame’s mission is to put all first-year students at ease. Dame said Connections is about reminding the students that they’ve got strengths and limitless value.

“We are a group that wants to pour into you and show that you are worth something,” Dame said.

Provost Nowell Donovan stressed the importance of making connections within the TCU community.

“You’re going to change the place you’re in, and you’re going to change it for the better, and you’re going to do it together,” Donovan said.

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