New Clubs Coming to WSHS

Rachel Casey, Staff Reporter

As we spring into a new school year, Winter Springs High School’s campus opens its doors to many new clubs, giving students the opportunity to increase involvement and make a difference in the world around them. Some of these organizations are still undergoing the paperwork necessary to officially begin; however, they will be up and running in no time.

According to Mr. Matt Hesselbart, Optimist club is one of these awaiting official approval, but once its doors open to new members, the club will be volunteer driven. Optimist club is a worldwide organization devoted to providing hope and a positive outlook for children. Members will work to bring out the best in themselves, local youth, and their overall communities.

Another service opportunity which will soon be available is Interact club. Sponsored through the Winter Springs rotary, this new club will provide students with many community service opportunities, growth in leadership skills, and connections within both their own community and internationally. Last week, students interested in joining Interact club, like junior Ali Martin, gathered during lunch to discuss ideas and goals for the new club.

“[Interact members] will do one local and one international project per year,” said Martin excitedly. “We can also go to  RYLA [Rotary Youth Leadership Awards]!”

Along with service projects, Interact members will be given the chance to attend various leadership development camps (like RYLA) and youth exchange programs sponsored through rotary.

Bear Academy, organized exclusively for ninth graders, will also soon serve as an opportunity for leadership experience. Within their Freshman Seminar classes, Bear Academy students will vote on two to three student representatives to serve on the academy’s leadership board while teachers and staff handpick three students to act as co-chairs. Headed by Mrs. Kristi Draus, this leadership board is a club within the Bear Academy academic experience.

“[The board members will] plan events for the entire Bear Academy,” said Draus. “They will fundraise for the group, [and] they’re…an advisory board for the administration to let us know if there are things that they need. [The board is] also sort of like a voice for ninth graders.”

While the Optimist, Interact, and Bear Academy clubs are still undergoing development, FCA/CRU (Fellowship of Christian Athletes/Campus Crusades for Christ) is one new club which has already begun meeting for the 2016-17 school year. Last year, six students (Jenna Wiekhorst, Justin Wiekhorst, Nathan Stewart, Natalia Pomales-Muniz, Rachel Hartley, and Tyler Knerr) worked together to found a Winter Springs High School chapter of FCA/CRU.

“Prior to the club starting, there was a lot of prayer, patience, and planning,” Hartley reminisces.

But now, the wait is over. FCA/CRU is open and welcomes anyone interested in attending. Meetings are held every Wednesday after school in room 6-114. Attendees gather to play games and to talk about their relationships with both their peers and Jesus. It gives students the potential to participate in a fun, supportive group dynamic and foster new friendships amongst Winter Springs students.

The co-founders of FCA/CRU can all agree on one thing: “Our favorite part about [the club] is seeing students from different backgrounds in life come together in fellowship…all people coming to find a message of hope and peace through Jesus Christ.”

With so many new clubs coming to Winter Springs High School this year, students now have more opportunities than ever to get involved, meet new friends, and make a difference.