PHS News

Putting the “WE” in World Empowerment

New club focuses on awareness, change

Sylvia Craig (left) and Lauren DeGeorge (right), juniors and founders of WE club.

Kit Longshore

Sylvia Craig (left) and Lauren DeGeorge (right), juniors and founders of WE club.

Natalie Kerr, Copy Editor

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Sylvia Craig and Lauren DeGeorge remained hard at work and involved in their school during the respite of summer. They had big plans for the upcoming 2017-2018 school year, and wanted their ideas in full effect as soon as possible.  

Their newly founded club- World Empowerment, or “WE”- aims to spread their message (and application) as widely as they can. The team is working to help make the school’s environment more positive and accepting. 

“The three main aspects [of the club] are to help high school students face adversity, build resilience, and finally, help them with their future endeavors,” junior and co-president of WE Craig said. The club will focus on inclusivity, community outreach and self-empowerment and improvement. 

Craig got the idea for the club in early May of 2017, after an extensive AP Capstone Seminar presentation she did on sexual assault. She then invited Degeorge to be on the team, and they approached Kristina Renaud as their club sponsor and broadened their theme from sexual assault to world empowerment for interest and support purposes.  

“It’s probably a precaution,” said DeGeorge. “It’s a controversial topic and administration has to be careful.”  

Although the restrictive pronouncement bothered them, they refused to let it slow them down.  

“[We knew] it couldn’t be a feminist club because we knew that would never occur here and that people wouldn’t want to join a club like that,” Craig said.  

They’re hoping by altering the name to World Empowerment and refining their message, they can extend the club’s reach to more students.  

But they agree that this exemplifies the need for a club like this. They felt denied of a need by the indirect shame that comes from experiences that suggest critical topics like this cannot be discussed. They worry about the collateral damage this can have on sense of self and confidence, and it is ever-present in high school.  

They agree that the difficulties and grueling expectations of high school definitely need to be talked about if students are meant to succeed and maintain self-esteem.  

“Ms. Renaud helped us fashion [the club] in a way that is useful for Plant High School students,” Craig said. “She is connecting us with nutritionists and life coaches to help students as well.” 

They intend to keep discussion lighthearted and fun, planning activities such as self-defense classes and yoga.  

“It’s similar to Why Define Us” junior and Vice President Ben Davis said. 

The board hopes to bring in the positive effects of that club, as Why Define Us is an outreach at middle schools. 

Davis said that they have varying focuses for every month’s discussions and activities. The club will meet on club days, and only requires that their participants partake in one activity per semester. 

Helping the community is important to them as well and at the end of the year they plan to work with a charity through donation to help those in need. 

“We want to acknowledge that this [the pressure and standards of high school] is something worth discussing and work to change it for the better,” DeGeorge said.  

This club is for the people, by the people and will exclude no one. 

Degeorge, Craig and the rest of the board members aspire to build a community that will support each other no matter their background or beliefs. World Empowerment club wants to make a constructive change in student’s lives in the hope that their message will continue to keep making a difference.

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Putting the “WE” in World Empowerment