Serving Up Kindness- Standley Lake's Clubs Giving Back To The Community
With the season of giving upon us, it can be easy to overlook the contributions of our own school to the community. While charitable donations are often seen as the most convenient way to give, the gift of time can be the most meaningful. Student-led groups at Standley such as C.A.R.E. Club, Key Club, Gators4Peace, and National Honor Society have taken change into their own hands, taking time to organize events with tangible impacts on the community.
C.A.R.E. Club, the most recent addition to the SLHS community, is a group advocating for greater environmental consciousness in day-to-day life. The acronym C.A.R.E. stands for Community Action for Restoration of the Environment. The founders of C.A.R.E Club, Brooklen Palma ‘20 and Michael Cox ‘20, talked about the goal of C.A.R.E. and what they hope to accomplish:
“C.A.R.E is focused on raising awareness within our community about the environment and animal rights, which are both really topical issues today,” Palma said.
Cox elaborated upon this:
“We are hoping to, through increased awareness, even a little bit make a slight change within our community. Even if one person makes a small lifestyle change, I see that as a very small success.”
C.A.R.E was started because of Palma’s switch to veganism two years ago, and the club is now working towards making SLHS a more environmentally-friendly place.
“We are about to leave, so I figured now is as good of a time as any to get that going and then I can leave SLHS knowing that I started something and it can keep going with that legacy,” Palma added.
C.A.R.E. Club meets Tuesdays after school and is constantly welcoming new members.
Key Club is another major SLHS club focused on giving back to the community. As a volunteer-based club, it centers around aiding surrounding SLHS families, schools, and businesses. Key Club is an opportunity to help out at various individual organizations such as the Denver Botanic Gardens, surrounding elementary schools, and Standley Lake itself. Current president of the club, Tam Vo ‘20, believes that developing a strong relationship within the school community is crucial.
“It’s important to be connected and aware of the community around us. Key Club is an opportunity to interact with other people than just teenagers and teachers...The biggest goal of Key Club is to bring together the community in order to improve and enhance the world around us,” Vo said.
While Key Club and NHS have been integral aspects of the service culture at Standley, Gators4Peace is a new club combining the previous efforts of Peace Jam and A Day Without Hate. Taylor Renquist ‘20, co-founder and co-president of Gators4Peace laid out her aspirations for the future of the club.
“I hope to impact someone in a positive way. I don’t care whether that someone is 1,000 miles away from me and was impacted because of our donation to a non-profit, or someone at this school that benefited from [A] Day Without Hate. I just want there to be a little less hate, conflict, and cruelty in our world.”
Gators4Peace organized the selling of boo-grams in October to raise funds for Heifer International, a non-profit dedicated to ridding the world of hunger, and will channel its efforts towards A Day Without Hate during second semester.
Each of these clubs not only works to aid others, but in the process provides leadership experience for its members. Renquist discussed how taking on Gators4Peace has directly influenced her personal skills.
“My ability to translate my thoughts into words has grown exponentially. The growth in my ability to communicate has benefitted my day-to-day life, as well.”
The Standley Lake High School chapter of National Honors Society uses the skills of advanced students for community service in the school community. With frequent fundraisers for charity and opportunities for community service hours, the club is an important part of the SLHS identity.
This year, the six new officers have made the club better than ever with new, unique service opportunities at the Butterfly Pavilion as well as the Taste of Homecoming and sock fundraisers. For several years, NHS has partnered with the Tennyson Center to provide support for children from abusive and neglectful homes. Toby Ziemke, the Vice President of NHS, wants to finish his senior year by leaving the club in a better position than he found it in.
“The goal of NHS is to provide a structure for students in high school to bridge that gap between being a high school student and the responsibilities of an adult and also the implications that go with that in terms of citizenship…I want to bring more meaning to what it means to be an NHS member,” Ziemke said.
Together, the combined efforts of these clubs makes the Standley Lake community a better place… a place where we all live in wholesomeness.