High Schools’ Need for Extracurricular Activities
Brooklyn Jones | Maui High School, Class of 2022Extracurricular activities are a highlight of high school. Not only can students use clubs and organizations to spend time with friends and make new ones but they can also pursue their interests with a specialized group. Freshmen can look forward to “club days”—an outdoor event where members place their club on display for freshmen to join. Some sign up for career-oriented clubs like HOSA (Health Occupations Students of America) and DECA (Distributive Education Clubs of America), focusing on healthcare and business while integrating community service and competitions. Others try for cultural clubs like Japanese Club, Spanish Club, or PAAC (Pacific Asian Affairs Council). The list doesn’t stop there though. There are community service clubs, national honors organizations, STEM clubs, art clubs and more. There’s a club for everything and if you find an area lacking a group, you are free to make your own!
Students have been back in school for an entire quarter which means school clubs are up and running too. There were clubs during virtual school last year; it’s just that all the meetings were virtual. This year, there is a mix of in-person and virtual club meetings and events, depending on the club.
Are students still interested in the clubs and events they used to be in and attend? Also, what’s going on with one of the most significant events of high school for upperclassmen: prom?
After sharing her thoughts, Maui High School Senior Kyra Ong made it clear the answer to the first question is a resounding “Yes.” Kyra is a part of Maui High’s National Honor Society, HOSA, swimming and diving team, golf team and is senior class president in the student council. “I have been in Maui High’s student council, swimming and diving team, golf team and HOSA club since my freshman year of high school,” she recounts. This list may seem like an overwhelming number of activities and clubs. Still, Kyra enjoys being a part of a group and practicing her leadership abilities: “I have found outlets to express myself, learn about other people’s stories and can empower others to find their voice.”
Incorporating events that benefit our community outside of school is a great way to build character and show the importance of working together. Carl Vincent McNabb of Baldwin High School knows a lot about being part of a team. He began his swimming career at seven years old and is now a team captain of Hawai‘i Swimming Club, Maui. HSC (the nickname for the club) volunteers at organized fun runs and marathons. COVID hindered this for about a year and a half but now “since Covid is getting better, we recently were able to help volunteer for mile runs in Lahaina,” Vincent remarked. With the return of volunteering opportunities were swim meets too: “We didn’t have any swimming competitions for a couple of months but the County started allowing swim meets a couple months ago.” Being cut off from sports during the pandemic was hard on athletes and now Vincent is determined to make the most out of his senior year.
Most high school students look forward to one night to elevate their high school experience: prom. No matter the exhausted clichés or the high expectations of the night, many high school juniors (or in this case, seniors) will look at this night with fond memories. Amidst the setbacks of COVID, having this traditional high school rite of passage would be great, says Jennifer Calibuso, a senior at Maui High. Jennifer points out this “opportunity to make memories” has been lost to a few graduating classes now and hopes this year will be the year to bring prom back. It is easy to see many other students share her sentiment. For Maui High, Class of 2022 students will tentatively have this special school dance on January 22, 2022.
Thanks to school being back in session, students can join communities while pursuing their passions, helping others and making memories and new friends. Because of this, students are becoming well-rounded, resilient young people, able to take on any challenge. It is plain to see the movers and shakers of tomorrow are here, doing the activities they love.
Google® Is Not Everything … is a monthly column authored by high school students. The title of the column emphasizes education is more than just googling a topic. Google® is a registered trademark. This month’s guest columnist is Brooklyn Jones, a Senior at Maui High School. She is an assistant editor in her school’s journalism program, Saber Scribes, and also a member of the Girls Can STEM Club. Brooklyn is in the ACOM Pathway at Maui High, specializing in graphic design. In her free time, she swims for Hawai‘i Swimming Club, bakes and likes to go to the beach. She is the daughter of Melissa Ligot Jones and Darren Jones.