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Giving Back: 6 Unique Service Clubs at Gabrielino

Courtesy+of+Community+Compass
Courtesy of Community Compass

Optimist Club

   Optimist is a service club meant to appeal to the underclassmen at Gabrileino, hosting services to be accessible and friendly to new faces on the campus.

   It deals mainly with donating to elementary and middle school sites and tries to stay at school for its events. “Compared to other clubs likes Key Club or Interact,” President Ashely Lau, 12, begins, “we try to do more in-person ones, because we know a lot of people aren’t able to get a ride to some services.” This consists of painting tote bags and rocks which are then to be donated.

   During this past February, kindness month, Optimist used painted rocks made by members to beautify and decorate Washington Elementary, an event they had consulted extensively beforehand.

   Lau furthers, “Optomist was the first club I joined when I was a freshman… and it made he feel like I belong somewhere at Gab.”

   Optimist meets on the last Friday of the month in B200.

Courtesy of Community Compass
Courtesy of Community Compass
Community Compass

   Community Compass is indeed a club with the community in mind, focused on informing students about the homeless population and taking steps to support them. 

   A brand new club for the 2023-24 school year, it’s a unique organization to Gabrielino planning to asist various homeless shelters and organizations around San Gabriel.

  The club does this by assembling hygiene kits and receiving other donations for the homeless. “During our club meetings, we’ll be assembling hygiene kits… to donate to shelters and other organizations and ultimately give back to the community,” president Kevin Liu, 10, tells us. 

  Moving into the holiday season, they have plans for a blanket and clothes donation drive. “We know in winter it’s going to be cold and the homeless need to get warm. We’ll have blankets, clothing, all that, and then we’ll pack it up into boxes, like a present, and give it to shelters and organizations.”

  Community Compass meets on the 3rd Thursday of the month in E160. The room will change to B249 starting in the second semester.

Red Cross

Taking its name from the national humanitarian organization, Gabrielino Red Cross aims to raise awareness for first aid and disaster response. 

   It is a local chapter based in Area 2 of the LA county, extending from the San Gabriel Valley to Pomona, offering service hours in the form of information sessions where members can work with younger kids and teach basic safety.

   President Kaylyn Thai, 12, tells us “you can get firsthand experience working with doctors and nurses”, as well as being apart of a broader community of high school volunteers.. Members can even gain experience in drawing blood, reflective of Red Cross’s blood drive which was conducted the week before Thanksgiving break.

   On the importance of this drive, Thai stresses that 1 pint of blood saves 3 lives which amplified to the scale of a high school saves countless lives. “We’re very lucky that we can reproduce blood”, she furthers.

   Red Cross’s other major event, Sound the Alarm, takes place in the second semester, where members will offer to check the smoke and fire detectors and replace them if need be.

   Red Cross meets on the 3rd Wednesday of the month in B208.

Courtesy of Crochet Club
Courtesy of Crochet Club
Crochet Club

Fostering crocheting skills among Gabrielino students, the Crochet Club hopes to use those skills to create goods and supplies they can donate.
“There’s a lot of organizations that accept donations for crocheted goods,” president Vivian Huang, 12, explains. “Once you donate these crocheted goods, they usually give them to underserved communities,” she furthers, from people undergoing cancer treatment to the army to “anyone in need.”
She plans to have services occur over two months, with members working on a crocheted good at home and coming together to collect and donate the goods during the next club meeting. Huang has been doing this on her own for around a year and has been crocheting for three years.
“I know that at Gab, I always get people asking can you teach me, can you teach me,” elaborated Huang, “I wanted to start this club for people to learn.”
Crochet Club meets on the 2nd Thursday of the month in B148.

STEMsters

   Offering services to teach and work with young children and elementary schoolers after school, the STEMsters* at Gabrielino are dedicated to spreading the joy of early science and STEM.

  STEMsters is a student-run volunteer organization that allows high schoolers to lead various elementary and afterschool programs. Speaking on an activity involving an egg drop that taught impulse and drag, president Hinson Hy, 12, comments, “They probably won’t understand F=ma, but they can understand egg dropped on the floor.”

  STEMsters feature many other activities that teach different concepts in science, with members helping kids to create balloon cars, their own Newton’s cradle, and structures to simulate earthquakes.

  “It might be hard to explain those concepts to young children, especially 5th graders, but we take on that challenge and we try to do our best,” Hy tells us finally.

  Hensen Hy can be contacted at [email protected] and STEMster secretary Jeffery Liu at [email protected]

*STEMSTERS is not officially affiliated with Gabrielino High School or Gabrielino Clubs & Organizations

Courtesy of Eagle Study Society
Courtesy of Eagle Study Society
Eagle Study Society

   Eagle Study Society is a tutoring club that offers help to students who are struggling with their classes and would like to have an additional resource to support them. 

   “We offer two kinds of things, one is a group thing and during that group, people will be split up into different subjects,” explains president Kylie Chang, 10. “There’s also one-on-one tutoring, which will be implemented later.”

   Eagle Study Society plans to act as a supplement to the Embedded Time drop-in centers and act as a more personalized tutoring experience with like-minded students. It will host their first group sessions in the upcoming weeks during lunch. “We have math, I think we have Mandarin and Spanish, we have English, we have Science,” adds Chang. 

   Eagle Study Society meets twice a month on Thursdays in B209.

SG4C

   Aiming to empower San Gabriel youth, San Gabriel For Change (SG4C) is a Gabrielino High School branch that offers volunteer opportunities and connections to the community.

    “We’ve done many volunteer services to help students get closer to the city we live in,” stated president Angie Pham, 10. “We had a Turkey Trot in November and we’re going to a senior home in December during the holiday season.” 

    SG4C is a larger organization within the San Gabriel area, with Pham’s club branch at Gabrielino being run by her and kept active with monthly services for students to participate in. 

   “I wanted students to join the organization because of the help we could do for the city,” explained Pham. 

   SG4C meets on the 1st Friday of every month in B209.

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About the Contributor
Isaac Chan, Staff Writer
Isaac Chan is in his first year with the school's journalism team. Outside of journalism, Isaac is an avid fan of video games, with particular fondness for Kirby, Mario, Zelda, and the Persona series—which he is always eager to discuss. Despite his penchant for gaming, Isaac is no stranger to hard work and often finds himself immersed in the challenges of overcommitting. He is particularly interested in politics and views journalism as an ideal platform to address and discuss pressing issues at Gab.
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