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How-to guide to WHS clubs

On Oct. 4 during lunch, clubs on campus set up tables around the quad to share their clubs in hopes of bringing in new students. Here is a guide to some featured clubs at WHS that you may want to join if you fall into or enjoy one of these categories.

Medicine/Health Clubs:

WHS provides a variety of clubs for students desiring to be involved in the medical field someday.

Students can get involved in the medical field through the Student Surgical Club, which focuses on informing students about the different specialities available to them in the surgical field. The club meets every Wednesday in 43J.

“It’s fun to be in a room full of people who are all interested in the same thing,” said president Madi McMichael ‘20.

For mental health, founders of Mental Wellness Club recognized an issue in the stress students had over school. In response, they created this club in order to stress the importance of mental health for students.

“We decided to make a club that would focus on mental health, making sure people are stable and can handle what they are doing, so we try to make it really fun and really safe,” said co-president Celeste Figueroa ‘19.

Club meetings involve various stress relieving techniques shared by club members as well as trust exercises. They discuss ways to best cope with stress every other Thursday in 42H.

“We paint, we color, we make origami, we nap,” said Figueroa. “It’s overall just a really safe environment.”


Activism Clubs:

In this day and age, it has become quite popular to formulate and speak out about things that need to be changed, even for high school students.

The Gay-Straight Alliance, or GSA, supports issues regarding equality and recognization for the LGBTQ community.

“We emphasize being a safe space before anything,” said GSA president Mia Castellano ‘20. “Of course, we do discuss important and relevant issues, but we also do activities and play games at the same time.”

During meetings held every Monday in 12G, GSA discusses real world issues and participates in local events within the community. Through this, they hope to “bolster both community and worldwide acceptance.”

Politics, a controversial topic over the past years, has inevitably seeped into the high school minds and is evident in United Nations Association.

“We model ourselves in the image of the United Nations…we are activists for the human rights cause,” said UNA secretary Micah Meyers ‘20.

The club, which meets every other Monday in 42D, is actively involved in human rights through setting up fundraisers and speaking with political figures and in town halls for House of Representative members. According to Meyers, the club ultimately hope to “speak out for people who don’t have a voice.”

Additionally, a club known as Agricultural Caring Team, fights for the decreasing art of gardening and farming.

“Our goal is to show that we are losing gardening to more biological careers, and we want to promote agriculture careers,” said president Shloka Homa ‘19.

During each Agricultural Caring Team meeting, on the first and third Thursday of every month in 43G, members work to grow plants to aid in their movement. The club incorporates service by donating their plants to Many Mansions, a local organization dedicated to finding housing and improving the lifestyles of low-income families.

Furthermore, gender equality has been a prominent topic of discussion, and Girl Up aids in helping to increase female power by helping women who don’t have the money to receive basic necessities.

“Our whole thing is fundraising [for] and volunteering at orphanages,” said Girl Up president Alexa Gruener ‘20. “[We are] trying to get bicycles for women across the country for transportation.”

Girl Up ultimately tries to help empower women who are less fortunate and give them the tools they need to live a better quality of life. They meet on the first and third Thursday of every month in 22B to discuss fundraising.


Math and Science Clubs:

There are many clubs on campus that fit well for the students who may want to work in the technological or scientific world in the future.

For a computer-based organization, the Data Modeling Club works with all WHS clubs to aid with technology issues.

“We’re going to be working with a lot of clubs on campus that need data services, whether its for surveys or rally numbers,” said co-president Daniel Yao ‘20.

During meetings, which are held every other Thursday in 43T, they will mainly practice for and work on the M3 Challenge, a nationwide technology competition with a $100,000 prize for the winner. This year, the problem concerns the idea of repurposing squandered food.

Additionally, the design team approaches issues in a unique way, following their mission statement of “using design to tackle real world problems.”

The club enters design competitions where they are given problems to worth through by design. They practice this in their meetings every Tuesday in the Makerspace, attached to 31E.

“ [We work on] identifying a social issue and using problem solving and project-based learning to find a solution,” said co-president Miela Efraim ‘20.

Girls in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics) is a club which works to create female equality in the scientific world by helping to teach girls about the many STEM options available to them.

“Since women only represent about twenty-six percent of the STEM workforce, it’s really important for them to have the opportunity to actually experience working in STEM to see whether or not they want to pursue their career [in STEM],” said founder and president Celina You ‘20.

Girls in STEM participates in competitions as well as community service opportunities to help explore new aspects of STEM for women.

The club also invites women involved in the field from all over California to speak at their meetings, held every other Tuesday in 22G. Upcoming speakers include a math major from the University of California Santa Barbara and an engineering major from University of California San Diego.

“[They are] coming to talk about their struggles being a woman in such an exclusive workforce and how they overcome it,” said You.


Creativity Clubs:

Everything from artistic ability to musical talent is featured in WHS clubs, allowing for many opportunities for the creative mind to thrive.

As far as music is concerned, members of band, strings and choir are all welcome to join Tri-M Music Honors Society, a nationally recognized affiliation.

“Music is definitely one of the things where it’s not quite an academic honors society, but because it is artistic, it connects the logistical and creative side of the minds,” said vice president Annie Wong ‘19.

The club utilizes their shared love of music to come up with and participate in service projects involving music in their meetings every other Friday in 31G.

“One of our most recent service projects is working with the special education department and demonstrating [to them] in a show-and-tell format different instruments and teaching them different concepts of music,” said Wong.

Featuring a more visual art, Photography Club welcomes all levels of photographers to come and work on their photography skills and share and talk with fellow photographers about their art.

“This club is all about acceptance and support for one another,” said founder and president Anh Thu Van ‘20. “I wanted to create and lead what I would’ve wanted to be apart of when I was a freshman and support fellow photography enthusiasts by giving them opportunities to learn more about what they love.”

The club is largely involved through meetings held every other Tuesday in 42K and meetups at locations for photoshoots. One of their highlights is photographing beach cleanups.

The club provides many opportunities for growth. During their meetings, students learn about a new photo technique, and are assigned to test it out to share at the next meeting. They then have a portfolio of photos by the end of the year to monitor their growth.

“I think it’s incredibly beneficial for Westlake students to have [a] safe space to share their art and meet new friends who they can grow together with through their photographing journey,” said Van.


Volunteer-based Clubs:

Generations Unite, a newly founded club, serves all generations of the community through service projects at local soup kitchens, assisted living facilities and orphanages.

“Our volunteering locations will change and differ as different events pop up,” said president Amy Song ‘21. “We want to be able to spread kindness and thoughtfulness not only within high school students but also to a variety of generations across southern California.”

If the club recently held or participated in a service project, they would their meetings, which are every other Thursday in 31J, talking about the positives and negatives of the experience to make any necessary changes. If they have a service project coming up, they plan out any last minute details for the event and decide how they will best achieve their goal of making personal connections.

“It will benefit WHS students by allowing high school students to really connect with other people and help out and see a direct impact of their time [through] seeing people [they help] more alive and happy,” said Song.

Benefitting WHS, Tutor It Forward gives an opportunity for students not only to help their peers with school problems, but it also allows students who have academic questions to come in and ask for help.

“It’s separate from the centers that we have, which are all really great, because it’s more about long-term tutoring where one person will be paired with a student for a while and they’ll just work together each week,” said co-president Madi McMichael ‘20.

Each club meeting, held every Tuesday in 43Y, allows time to meet with the tutor assigned. The club can help students who are struggling in a certain subject versus just unsure of a certain topic covered.

Additionally, the club provides the tutoring service free of cost, but accept donations of which are given to children’s hospitals.

“There’s both sides of it,” said McMichael. “There’s students that are helping other students and [other] students who are receiving help can donate and help sick patients.”

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How-to guide to WHS clubs