For high school students, especially those in international or American-curriculum schools, clubs are a large part of their four-year experience. Whether it be to help those in need, learn more about a subject of interest or to just have fun with a group of people with similar interests, clubs are a fun and meaningful experience for high schoolers.
At my school, Seoul Foreign School (SFS), there are a wide range of clubs, from service clubs to academic clubs to just fun activity clubs. Since my freshman year, I have been a part of two different clubs: Pisaders (math club) and Sports Council, both of which are official school clubs, meaning that they were created by the teachers and are not student-led.
However, after participating in both of these clubs, I realized that I wanted to create a club for community services. I had just participated in a community service trip to Laos. My friend (who also went to Laos) and I, inspired by our experience, were looking to join a service club, but we realized that all of the school’s existing service clubs were missing two aspects that we were both looking for.
|[The trip to Laos that inspired the club. Photo courtesy of Sahkar Nair]|
The two missing aspects, 1) long-term service and 2) support for certain social groups (like single parents and orphans) who were not receiving any help from existing service clubs. We noticed that the existing service clubs did not support the groups we wanted to help most, especially single-parents families. We also realized that all of the existing SFS service clubs were based on short-term aid, not sustainable, and did not allow for participants to build lasting relationships with those in need. After interacting with children in Laos, my friend and I felt that the creation of sustainable relationships was an essential part of the true community service we wanted to carry out.
After not being able to find an existing service club that met all of our criteria, we decided to create a club that would fit our needs. Therefore, after designing the club with a friend and a teacher who went with us to Laos, we decided to launch a club that would be targeted towards the orphans and single parents in Seodaemun-gu, and that we would name the club “From Our Hearts.” We were all motivated and inspired, and felt the need to improve the lack of awareness and long term service in our school about these groups of people.
|[Our club logo.
Photo courtesy of the author]
Two weeks after launching From Our Hearts, we started to gain some interest from people who were also hoping to participate in long term, relationship building service, but did not find a club suitable for that purpose.
Currently, our plan is to stay within the Seodaemun-gu area until we get fully organized and then branch out into other areas of Korea once we gain more members and I gain more experience as a leader. For now, we will be carrying out activities on a biweekly basis in Seodaemun-gu in cooperation with two NGOs that SFS already has working relationships with.
Sophomore (Grade 10)
Seoul Foreign School
Hanseung Cho firstname.lastname@example.org
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