New Clubs Bring New Service Opportunities

Kailey Calvo, Co-Editor

Clubs are one of the most dynamic and fun parts of a school day at Lake Highland. Currently, there are 78 clubs that have been whittled down from over 90. At the beginning of the year, all clubs, new and returning, had to go through an extreme approval process, where LHP’s Student Government Association looked at all aspects of a club in order for it to be approved. Ms. Katie Gallagher, Upper School Student Activities Coordinator, monitors all clubs to ensure they are accountable and responsible for all activities done in the club. Ms. Gallagher commented on the approval criteria and process, saying, “Every club needs to have a mission and goal that is different than any other club at LHP. It’s important to tie each club with a service aspect and that service be different than other clubs.” This individualism and uniqueness in every club at LHP truly sets each club apart and allows all students to find something within their passion.

Club meeting times are separated into groups. These groupings may seem random to Upper School students. However, according to Ms. Gallagher, “Club schedules are based around the teacher sponsors, their clubs, and the club meeting locations.”  The new block schedule allows for weekly club meetings, with a couple of groups meeting during a 70-minute period. In order to fit into this time slot, club meetings are usually as productive as possible. Club officers make sure of this, and organize informative meetings. 

Kate Buckley, grade 10 and president of Space Club, shared how she composes meeting topics, “Before each meeting, I try to find events that would interest our members, so they can experience some out-of-this-world opportunities!… We want our meetings to not only serve as a way to talk about your interests in space but hopefully learn what it might take to be a part of the Space Program.” Alyssa Wiboon, grade 10 and president of Paws for a Cause, also commented on what she does as club president, “My job as club president is to represent and lead Paws for a Cause to the fullest, as well as monitor club meetings and events. My goal is to create awareness at LHP for animals in need within local Orlando shelters.” Similarly, president of Wish Club, Kiera Moore, grade 11, expressed that her job as president is to, “Run the club by organizing volunteer opportunities and leading the meetings.”

There are several clubs at LHP that are new. However, many are returning from years prior. Kate Buckley commented on why she decided to make a new club, “Ever since I was a kid I always loved the idea of space. When coming into high school, I realized that my hopes of becoming an astronaut are actually possible if I put in the work to get there! So, making Space Club will not only help me achieve some of my goals but hopefully inspire others to go above and beyond.” Wish Club is a returning club that passed the approval process, and Kiera shared more about why the club was founded when she explained, “My sister, Kelly Moore ‘22, started Wish Club to make a positive impact on children’s lives that are living with severe illnesses. Wish Club has lots of service opportunities, specifically by making meals at Ronald McDonald House and collaborating with Second Harvest Food Bank and Toys for Tots.” Alyssa also mentioned how she became involved with Paws for a Cause in the first place, “I joined P4AC last year for my Freshman year, and it was one of my favorite clubs that I participated in. My older sister had been a member of the club for two years before me and told me how fun and interesting it was, so I knew I had to join. And it did not disappoint! From a young age, I’ve always had a love for animals, however, I could never afford to take care of a pet, so this is my way of helping them.”

There are many exciting plans in Lake Highland’s future, and the same goes for LHP clubs. Alyssa discussed what her goals are for Paws for a Cause, “My plans for the future are to support as many underfunded shelters as I can and stop the production of puppy mills and kill shelters. Overall, I hope to help as many animals as I can to make sure they are loved and cared for.” Kate commented on the future of Space Club, explaining, “I want this club to go far and create many opportunities for the students at Lake Highland, but also for schools around the world. We’ve been contacting our partner organization, SAE Foundation, to hopefully set up some experiences to help schools around the world.  At the moment, we are planning some out-of-school experiences to hopefully spark an interest in people who may have just joined not knowing much about space.” Kiera shared similar aspirations and wants to spread her club’s mission, as well as running, “Bake sales to raise money for the Make-A-Wish Foundation.” Overall, there are numerous fun and service-based clubs for LHP students to join, all with individual goals and characteristics to make them unique.

(Above) Unity/Club time has become increasingly important, as it is a vital time students use for quality social time, as well as putting in the effort to better their community. Club presidents distribute important information during meetings about service opportunities, new projects or club focuses, and more! Photo courtesy of Lake Highland Space Club. (Photo courtesy of Lake Highland Space Club. )
(Above) As opposed to returning clubs, new clubs had to attract all new members and had to be extra cheerful and informative for all potential recruits. Space Club officers shared smiles during the fair, welcoming all interested in space to join! Photo courtesy of Lake Highland Space Club. (Photo courtesy of Lake Highland Space Club. )
(Above) During the clubs fair at the beginning of the year, club officers were able to display all important information about their club to attract new members. Colorful boards were made and exhibited all throughout the Calkins Library, Courtyard, and out front of the Tartan Café, along with sweets as a treat for joining. Photo courtesy of Alyssa Wiboon. (Photo courtesy of Alyssa Wiboon.)