The Newspaper of McDaniel High School

The Oracle

The Newspaper of McDaniel High School

The Oracle

The Newspaper of McDaniel High School

The Oracle

Sophomore advocate helps, cares for her students

Lucia Romero
Re’gine Blackman, the sophomore advocate at Step Up, prioritizes making connections with students.

Re’Gine Blackman enjoys her job and her connections with students. Blackman is a current sophomore advocate who started Step Up in January of 2022. 

She was a freshman advocate for a year prior to becoming a sophomore advocate this year. Blackman decided she wanted to be an advocate because at a young age her father passed away. Being the youngest of six, she didn’t get enough time with the adults in her family, so she wants to be that support for students that she didn’t get in the past.

“I just always wanted to be that big sibling to someone who needs it,” she said.

Blackman loves being able to be in a space with students and showing up for them. 

“You don’t know what people go through in their day-to-day life, so being able to be that safe adult that students feel safe enough to confide in or ask for help is definitely one of my favorite parts about being an advocate,” she said.

Sophomore Erik Perez-Ocaranza, one of Blackman’s students, has been in the Step Up program since freshman year. He stated that not much has changed from when Blackman switched grades to be a sophomore advocate. He still has a similar schedule with the program, doing homework first then playing games and doing other fun activities. 

Perez-Ocaranza enjoys being in Step Up and overall thinks Blackman is a very good person to talk to and be around.

Blackman got to attend a summer camp called Camp Tilikum in Newberg, Ore. with freshmen from last year, so she was able to start the school year knowing the students better. Having that experience with the students helped her create a better relationship with them and allowed her to build trust. 

After working with freshmen last year, Blackman ended up becoming the lead advocate for Step Up. She feels that freshman year is tougher socially compared to sophomore year, when students tend to be more connected with their peers. 

Now that she is the lead advocate for Step Up, there are more things she is responsible for such as planning meetings between the advocate staff and making sure the staff’s needs are being met. 

“I am always having the staff rely on each other in the event that I can’t be there for them,” she said.

It’s important for her to be a role model not only for her students but her fellow staff members, too.

This year Blackman hopes to continue to make more connections with students while also improving her advocacy skills, and to just have a good time being a sophomore advocate.

She hopes to do things like vision boards and other activities to allow her students to connect with each other. 

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Lucia Romero, Business Manager

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