By Olivia Gubel ’21
Chess Club, started by Aariz Irfan ’23, provides a casual place for students to meet and develop their chess skills. All skill levels are encouraged to come participate. Initially the club met only twice a week, but will now meet three times a week to allow students more time for practice. Students are not required to attend all three meetings. Chess Club convenes on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays during break in HC 229. Students are paired with other students at a similar level determined by the club ladder. Chess boards and pieces are provided during the meetings.
“I thought Harvard Westlake would have a Chess Club, so when I found out they didn’t I decided to start my own. At first it was hard, but it was really worth it in the end,” Irfan said.
Best Buddies International Club
By Matteo Perez ’22
Students met on Nov. 16 for an informational meeting about the Best Buddies International Club. Best Buddies International is a program which pairs students in the club with other children who have different developmental disabilities.
“It’s a social program to buddy up students that are typically developing with students that have some form of disability to hopefully make some friends,” school psychologist Kelly Decker said.
Club members will try to foster friendly relationships with children from Bright Star Charter School who have special needs. Each pair of students will text with each other at least twice a month as well as meet each other face to face each month. The club is still being formed and is looking for more members. The next informational meeting will be held during break on Dec. 7.
By Kathryn Lin ’22 and Melody Tang ’22
Kayla Choi ’22 started the Survivor Club in early October. In the club, students have the chance to watch clips of the show, talk about the cast and discuss what they would do if they were a part of the show. Choi said the inspiration for creating the club was her love for “Survivor” and her desire to talk with others about the show.
“The Survivor Club is doing pretty well. There’s been a big turnout, and talking about the show with fellow students and teachers is fun, since we have different perspectives. We are currently planning to try a variation of the things that have been done on the show, such as an eating challenge or an auction,” Choi said.
By Khyra Stiner ’22
Chandace Apacanis ’21 founded the Boot Squad, a club teaching students how to step. The club meets on Fridays at break in the Burrows Dance Studio.
Stepping is a form of dance in which dancers make a beat using their feet, and it is usually done with a group of people and props.
Club members learn basic steps, as well as create their own in teams. The teams then compete and the winning team teaches the rest of the club their step.
According to Apacanis, the goal of the Boot Squad is to teach more people about stepping and to have fun while doing so.
“My favorite part of stepping is when you’re stepping and you can hear that everybody is on beat and the final beat is so crisp…. It’s just so much fun,” Apacanis said.
Cadence for a Cause Club
By Frank Jiang ’21
The Cadence for a Cause Club is dedicated to community service, allowing musicians to form ensembles and play at senior homes and hospitals.
Members who join the club are paired together to create chamber ensembles, and musicians can either choose or be assigned music to practice and perform. The club partners with Street Symphony, an organization that allows those musicians to play for the community for free. The club was originally created by Anna Gong ‘18 and has been brought to the Middle School by her younger brother, Andrew Gong ’21.
“We have recently gotten all our music and split up into chamber groups, and now we’re practicing our music individually. Everyone schedules their rehearsals during their groups’ free periods,” Andrew Gong ’21 said.
Any person, regardless of their skill level or instrument, can join the club.
Defector’s Rights Association Club
By Matthew Lee ’21
The Defectors Rights Association was created in order to raise money to help refugees escape North Korea. The money raised is also used to help the refugees adjust to their new life in countries such as South Korea, Mongolia and other countries. The club is affiliated with the LiNK (Liberty in North Korea) Rescue team. In addition to fundraising, the club also helps raise awareness towards the difficulties that refugees have to face before and after escaping.
“[The organizers of the Defectors Rights Association] have always wanted to find a way to help people, especially North Korean refugees because we feel a connection to them, and this is our way to directly reach out to them and directly impact their lives,” co-founder Jasmine Wang ’21 said.
Members of this club also expressed their desire to help this cause.
“I think it’s very important to help people who are in need, and especially in a country like North Korea, which is more impoverished and economically devastated,” club member Cleo Maloney ’21 said.
Middle Eastern American Culture Club
By Mia Feizbakhsh ’22
Members bond at the Middle Eastern American Culture Club while talking about their families and how they immigrated to the U.S. The Middle Eastern American Culture Club meets every Friday at break, and enjoy treats from different cultures. The club hopes to educate the school about what it means to be Middle Eastern.
Club founder Emma Limor ’21 said she is passionate about increasing representation for the Middle Eastern community.
“I saw a lot of affinity clubs at Harvard-Westlake, and I felt that the Middle Eastern population was really under represented, … I wanted to create a place where people from the Middle East could come together,” Limor said.
Women in History Club
By Emma Limor ’21
Founded by Emma Limor ’21, the Women in History Club is an opportunity for middle school students to discuss the unseen women that shaped our society.
The club meets in HC 319 on Wednesdays at break. The faculty advisor is history teacher Tim Newhart. It currently has 20 members. Limor said that she started the club to spark discussions of women who people don’t recognize due to the sexist nature of society.
“I think people should recognize different women in history whose roles were erased due to sexism and to promote women’s rights in fields dominated by men to help put a stop to sexism in the work environment and in fields like math and science,” Limor said.
By Kaki Joiner ’21
The new UNICEF Club was founded this semester and supports the global organization, which helps children in need all around the world who suffer from various issues. Founder Lauren Cho ’21 said she was inspired to get involved in the organization because her grandfather used to work at the United Nations.
“There are children like us in the world that don’t have the same advantages, and I wanted to help them achieve their dreams,” Cho said.
Students participating in the UNICEF Club engage in various projects that support children with different needs. One of the activities the UNICEF Club students undertake is writing to legislators in attempt to make them more aware of childrens’ rights.
The club meets Fridays at break in HC220.
Seventh Grade A Cappella Club
By Celine Park ’21
Every Thursday in the choral room, seventh grade students gather to sing a cappella. According to club founders Allegra Drago ’23 and Judah Marley ’23, the club was created in an effort to re-live the times of their a cappella club at their elementary school.
“At our old school we had an a cappella club, and we wanted to continue [the club] throughout Harvard-Westlake,” Drago said.
The a cappella club is open to any seventh graders who enjoy singing. Choral director Jeremy Pease and Alumni Relations director Hannah Platt ’08 are the teacher sponsors for the club. Members of the club are currently learning the songs “Hallelujah” by Pentatonix and “One Family” by Kelly Price.