Club Directory: Social Justice and Leadership

Photo by Denebola Staff

ANIMAL IMPACT

What does your club do?

We’ve done volunteering and other fundraising outside school, like the MSPCA’s Fast and Furriest 5k. In the meetings we talk about important animal issues or play games.

What kind of person would enjoy this club?

I think anyone who likes animals and wants to help would enjoy this club.

What has been the best thing about being a part of this club, in your experience?

In my experience, the best thing about being in this club is seeing how many people care and want to help animals.

AWARE

What does your club do?

Aware’s goal is destigmatize mental health at South and in our other communities and spheres of life. More tangibly, we plan events like Aware Day to raise mental health awareness, as well as providing other de-stressing events.

What kind of person would enjoy this club?

This club is great for anyone who is passionate or even remotely interested in discussing mental health, stigma, or initiating a school wide dialogue about mental health. You do not need to be struggling with a mental illness or even be related to mental illness in any way, just interested in working towards our club goals.

What has been the best thing about being a part of this club, in your experience?

The best thing about being part of Aware is receiving feedback after events and hearing that we helped people confront their own struggles or deal with those of someone close to them or even just feel understood by their peers. I also really enjoy learning more about the intricacies of mental illness and how we deal with it at South, and making change when applicable.

BLACK STUDENT UNION (BSU)

What does your club do?

Black Student Union (BSU) is a club that is a safe environment that allows our members to engage in discussions about issues affecting the black community as well as celebrate African American culture, lifestyle, and history.

What kind of person would enjoy this club?

Although we are the Black Student Union and our main goal is to support black students at South, our members range from African Americans to Latinos to Asians. Anyone who would be interested in learning more about the black community should join BSU.

What has been the best thing about being a part of this club, in your experience?

The best part about being in BSU is getting the opportunity to have a huge group of people to play games with, talk to about difficult times, and to receive support from. We encourage anyone and everyone who wants a fun and unique learning experience to join BSU!

We meet Thursdays in Goodwin Commons near Ms. Sumner’s room.

CANCER AWARENESS AND RESEARCH ENCOURAGEMENT (CARE)

What does your club do?

Cancer Awareness and Research Encouragement (CARE) Club raises money for cancer patients and cancer research through various fundraisers. We are a new club that formed at the end of last year and have done bake sales and a toy/book drive. This coming year, we are going to be organizing the PMC Challenge– a bike ride to raise money for cancer research and patients– for Newton kids.

What kind of person would enjoy this club?

Anyone who wants to help out in the community and cares about the sick would love to be in this club.

What has been the best thing about being a part of this club, in your experience?

One of the best parts of being in this club is getting to help out people who really need it. So far, we have gotten thank you cards from all hospitals and recipients and they are truly grateful for the help and contributions. You really feel like you are helping brighten up the days of children and adults who are going through a very difficult time.

CHARITY OF THE SEASON

What does your club do?

Charity of the Season Club is a supervised club in which we choose a charity or a cause we care about and contribute to that cause through fundraisers or interaction.

What kind of person would enjoy this club?

We think that someone who enjoys giving back to their community and helping others would get the most out of their participation in our club.

What has been the best thing about being a part of this club, in your experience?

One of the best things I have gotten out of my experience in this club so far is that if you work together with a group of friends, you can do so much for your community and for others while still having fun.

CHINA CARE

What does your club do?

Our club works with the Sky Foundation to help Chinese orphan kids. Most of the kids are girls because of the one child policy. We try to donate as much as money as we can to buy them school supplies, or if a child has a disease then they use the money to fix their diseases.

What kind of person would enjoy this club?

I feel like any person would enjoy the club, but especially the people who are interested in China, or people who like to help people who are in need.

What has been the best thing about being a part of this club, in your experience?

The best thing about being part of this club is that it is kind of awesome that we are saving others’ lives. It is true that planning the bake sales and getting the food can be a hassle, but at the end when we see how much we’ve earned to donate, we feel very proud of ourselves. We are trying to give the young kids a chance at life, to learn in school and become better people.

CLASS OFFICE

What does your club do?

We plan the major event of the year for our class (semi, cruise, etc). Each grade has their own individual group of representatives. We also fundraise to make that possible. We design and supply apparel every year and organize other class-related things.

What kind of person would enjoy being in this club?

Someone with a lot of school spirit who really cares about the grade having a positive experience. Someone who wants to contribute.

What has been the best thing about being a part of this club, in your experience?

Getting to run and plan events. I just enjoy that kind of thing; it’s a good creative outlet and it’s a good way to feel/be involved.

COMMUNITY SERVICE CLUB

What does your club do?

In Community Service Club, we hold volunteering events. We raise money through bake sales to purchase food for our cooking events. Once a month, we meet after school and prepare food, which we then bring over to a local food pantry and distribute to low income families, people who are unemployed, or to anyone else that may need it. We also plan on running future events that offer different types of volunteer service, to get more involved in the Newton community.

What kind of person would enjoy this club?

People who want to give back to their community and make a difference would be perfect for this club. This is an opportunity to help out in the lives of others. The recipients of our help are so appreciative, that it always makes us feel great after helping knowing that we were able to really make a positive impact.

What has been the best thing about being a member of this club, in your experience?

In my experience in this club, the events we run have been both successful and a lot of fun. The best part is that we are not only volunteering our time, but also enjoying what we are doing while we’re helping out. Spending time with friends and being helpful to others has been a great feeling.

CREATIVITY FOR A CAUSE

What does your club do?

Our club gets together and makes and sells art. We give the proceeds to charity organizations or donate art to charitable organizations.

What kind of person would enjoy this club?

Anyone who likes to make art by themselves or with friends would be great for this club.

What has been the best thing about being a part of this club, in your experience?

The best part of the club is being able to have a really fun time making art but then have that art be able to create positive change.

CROSSING GENERATIONS/ELDER BUDDIES

What does your club do?

Our club connects high school students with elderlies in the neighborhood! We throw fun themed parties for senior citizens at the local senior center, interview war veterans so that their stories can be saved for future generations, and find new and interesting ways to make the senior citizens of our community feel connected to younger generations like ours.

What kind of person would enjoy this club?

Everybody will enjoy this club!! The club meets Thursday during J-block and doesn’t require that much effort, so it’s okay if you play sports or have other commitments that may force you to skip a few meetings. It’s a great environment for anyone who is looking to laugh and have a great time. The people in the club are extremely friendly, so anyone who joins Crossing Generations will feel welcomed and included. This club is not only entertaining and exciting, but also extremely rewarding as you are bringing joy to the lives of others!

What has been the best thing about being a part of this club, in your experience?

In my experience, I have found that although the other club members are incredible, it’s the people that we get to help and inspire that make the club worthwhile. I love seeing the smiles on the seniors’ faces as they sing and dance at our parties, and I love hearing the stories of the people who have shaped our world. Overall, the club offers everyone the opportunity to enhance both their own lives and the lives of the elderlies around Newton!

FARM CLUB

What does your club do?

Our club operates a 2,500 square foot farm at South.  We grow hundreds of pounds of produce per year, which we sell to parents, faculty, and local businesses and restaurants.  We spend most of our time cultivating, harvesting, and processing our crops.

What kind of person would enjoy this club?

This club is perfect for anyone who has any interest in food or agriculture, or for students who just want to be outside.  We are also a fully-functioning business with one the largest yearly revenues of any club at south, and we are seeking business managers who want to help us operate the retail aspect of the club.

What has been the best thing about being a part of this club, in your experience?

The best part of this club is growing vegetables.

Website: http://www.nshsfarm.com/#eat-together

FEMINIST EMPOWERMENT MOVEMENT (FEM) CLUB

What does your club do?

The goal of Feminist Empowerment Movement (FEM) Club is just what you’d think: to empower feminists. We are trying to get rid of the stigma around the word “feminist” while doing what we can to help fix gender injustices (both in politics and everyday life).

What kind of person would enjoy this club?

FEM Club welcomes anyone willing to discuss their opinions, whether popular or controversial. You do not have to identify as female, and you do not have to identify as a feminist.

What has been the best thing about being a part of this club, in your experience?


For me, the best part about being in FEM has been knowing that there is a space where I can comfortably share my stories and opinions, as well as listen to others. It has also been really great to see how much the club has grown and how passionate the new members are.

GENDER AND SEXUALITY AWARENESS

What does your club do?

The GSA (now called Gender and Sexuality Awareness rather than Gay Straight Alliance) provides a safe space for all South students to talk about issues relating to gender and sexuality in the world and here at school. In addition to discussions during club meetings, we try to spread awareness of these issues and just general knowledge about the LGBT+ community. We have special days of action where we speak to an audience, for example Trans Day of Remembrance and TBGLAAD, and other days like the Day of Silence, which students can choose to participate in.

What kind of person would enjoy this club?

No matter their identity, anybody who is interested in learning about the LGBT+ community or in making the school a safer environment would be interested in the club. We stress our members’ comfort and safety, so members are asked to keep other members anonymous when talking about the club. This allows for people who are questioning their identity or are closeted to feel welcome to come and express themselves how they want, even if this expression does not match the one they normally present.

What has been the best thing about being a part of this club, in your experience?

The best thing about being part of this club is that I get to learn about topics that are not normally discussed in history classes or among my friends. It also has played a huge role in helping me feel comfortable with who I am. Older members of the club showed me that it’s okay to be whoever I am and that even if I’m confused on my identity now, I won’t be forever. Some members of the club were also questioning their identity and just being surrounded by people like me made me feel less alienated.

GIRL UP

What does your club do?

We raise money and awareness for and about the inequality girls and women face in developing countries. A lot of the money raised for third world countries is often given to the boys, and we want to even the playing field.

What kind of person would enjoy being in this club?

Someone who wants to advocate for gender equality and wants to help people in developing countries.

What has been the best thing about being a part of this club, in your experience?

Being able to fight for gender equality in third world countries is just incredibly rewarding.

HABITAT FOR HUMANITY

What does your club do?

Habitat for Humanity is an organization connected to the Greater Habitat Boston program. Every year, we raised money through bake sales, popcorn sales, House Your Peeps, etc. With the money, we donate to Habitat for Humanity and also go on an annual build in the Boston area. All members over the age of 16 are able to help construct a house with Habitat for Humanity Greater Boston.

What kind of person would enjoy this club?

Someone with a fun and outgoing personality would enjoy being in Habitat. Habitat is for people who enjoy hands-on work, organizing, and advertising.

What has been the best thing about being part of this club, in your experience?

This past year, the best experience has been going on the build near the end of the year in Roslindale. While we donate to Habitat, actually building the house was a more meaningful experience. We were able to work with people we didn’t know at all and get to know each other more.

HOPE FOR HAITI

What does your club do?

Hope for Haiti raises funds and gathers supplies for a medical clinic in Haiti. We successfully organized a vitamin drive and delivered it to the clinic last year. We have frequent bake sales throughout the year to raise the funds we donate. We have actually had members of our group go to the clinic and volunteer over the summer!

What kind of person would enjoy this club?

Any person who loves giving back to those who are less fortunate and working towards a common goal of providing sufficient medical treatment for everyone. Someone who would thrive in Hope for Haiti is a person who dedicates themselves to the cause they work for and can cooperate with the other members. We are super excited for new members to join!

What has been the best thing about being part of this club, in your experience?

The best part is actually being able to see all our hard work make a difference– having members of our group go to the clinic and experience what it is like to work with the people there. The doctors and patients are really appreciative of all the effort we put in.

HOSPITAL EDUCATION AWARENESS AND RESEARCH TEAM (HEART)

What does your club do?

Hospital Education Awareness and Research Team (HEART) is pretty much a pre-med sort of club, where we research diseases, learn medical techniques, volunteer at hospitals, hold toy drives, have medical professionals speak, and other activities like that.

What kind of person would enjoy this club?

A person who loves to help others, learn more about the medical field, is curious about different careers, enjoys medicine, or even someone who just is curious about medicine. We have people in our club who do not like medical stuff and they are sure they will not become medical professionals, but they stay in the club because they enjoy getting to visit hospitals and help these kids. We also have students who love medicine and want to watch videos on open heart surgery.

What has been the best thing about being a part of this club, in your experience?

Honestly, when I first came to South I was looking for some sort of medical club (which, it turns out, they did not have). I checked out the Science Team, but they said they didn’t do medicine. I checked out Red Cross, no luck. So I decided to start a pre-med club. The best experience and the most amazing feeling is sitting in that classroom being able to talk about Grey’s Anatomy or medical techniques or cool surgeries we have heard about. Just being able to talk to other people who are as interested in medicine or as interested in helping people as I am is the most amazing feeling.

LIBERTY IN NORTH KOREA

What does your club do?

Liberty in North Korea (LiNK) at Newton South focuses on raising money in order to donate to the larger organization, who use the donations to rescue North Korean refugees from China and help them resettle. North Koreans manage to illegally enter China, leaving behind the harsh punishments, including torture, forced labor, and/or internment camps of their native land. However, most of these refugees are sent back to North Korea when discovered by Chinese officials or are unable to find work due to their illegal status. LiNK, through donations given by not only NSHS but from people all over the world, helps these refugees out of China to resettle in South Korean or the United States.

What kind of person would enjoy this club?

The club welcomes anyone who wants to help but maybe doesn’t know exactly how. All members of LiNK this year had been educated on how cruel North Korea treat its people, meaning we did not all know everything about what was happening. Anyone from any grade can join even if they don’t know that much or even anything about North Korea.

What has been the best thing about being a part of this club, in your experience.

Like most students at NSHS or even people in the United States, I personally did not know of all the specific, awful details about the punishments that occur in North Korea. The best part of being in this club (besides actually raising money to donate) is the information of the reality of the lives of North Koreans. It’s easy for people not to care about North Koreans because all they hear about is Kim Jong-Un and his dictatorship. However, the vast majority of North Koreans are victims. They have no freedom of speech, knowledge, or religion– freedoms we value so highly here in the United States. The knowledge I received during my freshman year of the political camps, food shortages, and all the other punishments and executions done has definitely contributed to the ability to view things from other perspectives and to fight for justice.

NEWTON EDUCATION WORKSHOPS (NEW)

What does your club do?

South students have the chance to teach  fourth and fifth graders who will eventually go to South. We teach a variety of fun classes like arts and crafts, tumbling, cooking, etc. all the money raised goes to a charity at the end of the year!

What kind of person would enjoy this club?

Any person who enjoys working with kids and loves to help others. It’s a great way to give back to the Newton community.

What has been the best thing about being a part of this club, in your experience?

Creating a bond with the kids in my class and knowing that I’m helping them have a fun and unique Saturday morning.

PROJECT UNIFY

What does your club do?

We represent the Special Olympics at Newton South and are part of a global organization with the goal of creating a world of inclusion.

What kind of person would enjoy this club?

Anyone who shares our passion to be part of a movement to create a community in which all people are accepted and welcomed regardless of ability or disability.

What has been the best thing about being a part of this club, in your experience?

We are proud to have collected over 50 pledges from Newton South students as part of our Spread the Word to End the Word campaign, which aims to raise awareness of the hurtful nature of the word “retarded.”

SOUTH SENATE

What does your club do?

We try and make the voices of the students heard by the administration when it comes to general school policy.

What kind of person would enjoy being in this club?

Someone who has an interest in politics, a healthy civic duty gland, and a substantial supply of moral fiber.

What has been the best thing about being a part of this club, in your experience?

The feeling that you are making an impact on the issues that matter to you and your friends, it lends a certain sense of weight to the everyday that would otherwise be absent.

STUDENTS FOR SOLDIERS

What does your club do?

Students for Soldiers helps to raise money and awareness for both active duty service members and veterans.

What kind of person would enjoy this club?

People who want to help or are interested in doing something to help the people who do or have served our country might be interested in the club.

What has been the best thing about being a part of this club, in your experience?

My favorite experience was probably when we made cards for service members overseas. Usually, when we make cards we just do it during a club meeting, but what we did this year (and what I hope the club keeps doing) is set up a station in the hall to allow anyone to make a card. There were so many students and teachers who stopped by to make cards and it was really nice to see everyone’s support.

UNICEF

What does your club do?

Our club focuses on a lot of different things. UNICEF is a part of the UN and one of its focuses is raising money and supplies to help underprivileged children get an education. During our J-block meetings, we spend part of the time planning fundraisers, like bake sales, the Tap Project, and the advisory boxes, and part of the time working on the educational aspect. We watch videos so that we stay up to date on relevant issues, we’ve invited UNICEF reps to talk to us and the school, and we’ve created PowerPoints and presentations for the Lecture Hall.

What kind of person would enjoy being in this club?

I think anyone could enjoy the club. There is something for everyone that they can be a part of and the atmosphere is really relaxed and open to new people and new ideas. Some of our members are super committed and fully support UNICEF’s work, and some are in the club to spend time with their friends.

What has been the best thing about being a part of this club, in your experience?

For me, the best part about being in the club is seeing a group of people, many of whom may have otherwise never had any reason to associate with one another, come together to help others without expecting anything in return.

WATER AID INTERNATIONAL (WAI)

What does your club do?

Water Aid International (WAI) is a South club committed to supporting and donating to water.org, and finding innovative ways, mainly through the arts, to achieve fundraising so that more people all across the globe can have access to clean water. In the past, WAI has hosted WAI Funny (this year was the first Newtones/Candy Corn/WAI collaboration) and Water Barn in collaboration with Reflections Magazine, as well as updating the WAI bulletin board to raise awareness of “water poverty.”

What kind of person would enjoy this club?

Anyone who is interested in sustainability, human rights, or raising money through events, bake sales, etc, would love WAI!

What has been the best thing about being a part of this club, in your experience?

I’ve really enjoyed getting to know all of the people and to be part of hosting events where I meet even more great people! it’s really great to connect and to contribute to an important cause.
For information about when and where all of these clubs meet, click here.

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