January 14, 2021
“If you see there’s a gap that isn’t filled yet, then I’d say go for it, because it’s not as daunting as it seems,” said Ashley Latter, a junior at Atholton High School, who had successfully attempted to start a club–European Student Union.
Why create clubs? Well for starters, it’s a good way to socialize, learn new things, and have fun. It expands on a student’s leadership experience and lets them be more proactive in the student community. It also lets the student share their passions and find others who share it with them. As a bonus, it looks great on resumes!
According to Harleen Green, a sophomore at Atholton High School, the first step to creating a club is to have an idea of what the club is about, how it’s going to be organized, and to have an end goal. Green is the founder of the Mountain Bike club here at Atholton, which unfortunately got shut down due to COVID-19. However, she managed to run the club virtually by getting “creative and knowing there’s always a way around for everything.”
Elaborating on the end goal, Kai-Lin Yu, junior and founder of Asian Student Union, explained that an end goal should somewhat make a difference in the student community or a specific type of audience. For example, Yu’s end goal is to “leave behind something,” no matter how small or big.
“For ASU, it’s just to spread like Asian culture and also raise money for like Asian charities because there are a lot of people that really need help, especially during covid and like even before then…Helping other people is definitely a really good thing to do and a really good goal,” said Yu.
One of the main challenges club founders faced was finding a sponsor. Ashleigh Latter, the founder of the European Student Union, mentioned that since most teachers had a lot on their plate and/or are sponsors of other clubs, it was difficult to “try to sell the club to teachers to give up their time to help.”
A tip Latter gave about reaching out to sponsors is to, one, email as many teachers as possible, because there’s no knowing who’s going to be available and who’s not. She advised students to not get their hearts set on one or two teachers. Instead, be more open-minded and on the look-out for teachers who might be interested in helping you.
“I don’t really think it’s hard to necessarily start a club, but just finding the sponsor…It usually helps if you know the teacher previously, so they kind of know who you are,” added Kai-Lin Yu.
Something unique about some of these clubs is that they are driven by one student’s passion. Green brought up the fact that Atholton hasn’t had a mountain biking club in a long time and as it’s a fairly new idea, she hoped “there would be lots of kids willing to try something new.” This club is special to her because she related it back to her experience of being in the Mt. Biking League, which she was trying to recreate by forming a club.
As per the European Student Union, Latter was determined to start a club relating to her heritage. She wanted to bring together students with European heritages and those who are interested in the culture. In doing so, the club members could talk about their experiences, history, and raise money for European charities. Latter’s end goal was to “create a partnership of sorts with a school in the UK or another European country, to enable communication between Atholton students and those in other countries!”
If there’s anything to take away, it’s that the most important part of creating a club that all founders share is to never give up.
“Don’t give up your interests or passions – just redirect them. If a particular club doesn’t ‘get off the ground,’ find another club where you can be a part of a group. The need to belong and feel a part of something is sometimes as important as the productivity of the club,” said Mr. Jones, a teacher and sponsor at Atholton.
Here are some active clubs at AHS that you could join!
European Student Union
- Teacher: Mary Coates – Mary_Coates@hcpss.org
Asian Student Union
- Teacher: Scott Vennard – Scott_Vennard@hcpss.org
Mountain Bike Club
- Teacher: Scott Vennard – Scott_Vennard@hcpss.org
Bully Free Forever (BFF) Club
- Teacher: Emily Wasson – Emily_Wasson@hcpss.org
Future Business Leaders of America (FBLA) Club
- Teacher: Matthew Lathroum – Matthew_Lathroum@hcpss.org
Gender & Sexuality Alliance (GSA) Club
- Sponsor: Carolyn Pilcher – Carolyn_Pilcher@hcpss.org
Green School (STEAM Team)
- Teacher: Donna Schwab – Donna_Schwab@hcpss.org
League of Legends eSports Club
- Teacher: Bryce Cramer – firstname.lastname@example.org
MESA (Math Engineering Science Achievement)
- Teacher: Stephanie Johnson-Rolle – email@example.com
- Teacher: Jimmie Mowder Jr. – Jimmie_Mowder@hcpss.org
Science Olympiad Club
- Teacher: Deirdre Lindsay – Deirdre_Lindsey@hcpss.org
Speech and Debate
- Teacher: Lynette Burns – firstname.lastname@example.org
Be the Change Club
- Teacher: Richard Jones – email@example.com
- Teacher: Eric Posner – Eric_Posner@hcpss.org
Computer Science Club
- Teacher: Natalie Kelly – firstname.lastname@example.org