New clubs on campus

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With over 120 clubs on campus, American Heritage School offers a variety of afterschool activities to help students find a group that shares their interests; if not, they can create one. In 2021, Heritage students formed 16 new clubs, including Arabic Club, Change for Children, Chemistry Olympiad Club, Child Protection Committee, Contemporary Music Club, First Priority (JH Chapter), Indigenous Peoples Club, No Place for Hate, One Way Water Academy and the Red Cross Club. Here are other clubs that were created.

Alex’s Lemonade Stand volunteers set up their stand to fundraise with Firebirds Restaurant. (Photo/Daniela Zaghlul)

“Alexandra Scott, a young girl who was diagnosed with neuroblastoma… set up lemonade stands [which raised $1 million] for the research of pediatric cancer treatments,”  sophomore Cristina Holston, co-president of Alex’s Lemonade Stand’s (ALS) Heritage Chapter, explained. Scott’s parents created the foundation in her memory. Although the club only began operating in January, their first fundraiser in partnership with Firebirds restaurant raised around $3000 for the charity, according to co-president sophomore Daniela Zaghlul.

Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz spoke with CARE Club members in March 2021. (Photo/Alexandra Elkhoury)

Cooperative for Assistance and Relief Everywhere (CARE) Club president junior Alexandra Elkhoury explained that members “advocate to representatives to pass certain laws [related to] COVID and female representation,” especially in developing countries. The Beirut explosion inspired her and Vice President junior Mary Abi-Karam to help their home countries in Lebanon through CARE. The club has lobbied local politicians, conducted Chipotle fundraisers and spoken on CARE’s official Instagram live. In the future, Elkhoury plans to work with women’s shelters in South Florida, such as Women In Distress.

The Current Events Club met in May 2021 to learn about and discuss the Israel-Palestine conflict. (Photo/Anya Pinto)
Current Events Club members participated in a service project called “Painting In The Park” in April 2021. (Photo/Anya Pinto)

Sophomore Anya Pinto created the Current Events Club to educate students about contemporary global issues so they are cognizant of the world’s diversity. Members create an unbiased presentation on a chosen topic to learn and discuss it afterward. “Our service projects are extremely rewarding. In April, volunteers created paintings to donate to Miami’s Sylvester Cancer Center. We are currently creating informational guide videos and fundraising for Afghan refugees, due to the Taliban’s current takeover,” Amarachukwu Okpala, an active member of the club, said.

Senior Carolina Sanchez-Torres, co-President of the Junior State of America’s (JSA’s) Heritage chapter, describes JSA as “a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization [that] is committed to developing a diverse cross-section of young leaders for a democratic society.” She and co-president junior Aurora Lai’s focal project is to teach members how to “contact and draft an email to a politician,” in order to show that students can impact politics despite their age. The club looks forward to their deliberative democracy simulation, debates, fundraisers and guest speakers this year.

Sophomore Saumya Narang created the Political Discussions Club because she felt  students were unable to openly talk about political issues on campus. At meetings, members learn some background and “talk about their opinions using Socratic seminars to keep discussions civil,” Narang said. Their first topic was Executive Power, and Narang plans on gradually introducing more controversial topics. She looks forward to in-person discussions and possibly inviting local lawmakers to meetings as guest speakers.

Senior Livia Kaufman’s curiosity about human nature prompted her to create the Psychology Club at AHS. Members gain a deeper understanding of the brain and a healthier mindset by meeting licensed therapists, psychologists and sitting through interactive presentations. The club participated in the “APA Essay Competition… where members [wrote about] resilience in relation to stress or trauma,” Kaufman said. In the future, Kaufman and co-president senior John Amanna hope that the club can volunteer at mental health centers, fundraise for mental illness treatments and work with charities.

Anya Pinto, a sophomore at American Heritage School, is entering her first year as a writer for the Patriot Post. Music has always been closest to Anya’s heart. She loves to sing and play the piano, the ukulele and the guitar. Besides Newspaper and academics, Anya created the Current Events Club at Heritage and is involved in several other activities such as Speech & Debate, Mock Trial, Model UN, Student Government and swimming. She enjoys volunteering with organizations such as Best Buddies and Big Brothers Big Sisters. Two years ago, Anya moved to Florida from India. She is passionate about feminism, anti-racism, climate change and battling cultural stigmas. Anya looks forward to being part of iPatriotPost.