When we are provided with an opportunity, we have to take it.


Credit Shaker UNICEF Club Instagram


What can I get from highschool? This is a question almost all highschoolers ask themselves walking through the intimidating hallways of upper and underclassmen. We are concerned with who we will sit with at lunch and what our grades will be but we are also constantly trying to find what we love to do. Keara Papa, the senior Student Council President, is someone who has involved herself in a variety of clubs such as Latin Club, Shaker UNICEF, sports etc.,  says to “engage in your passions and explore them in all aspects,”  Coming out of a pandemic, where we lost our connection with people and more importantly our true interests, we have buried opportunities to be someone who goes to school and does what they love to do. Students should take clubs as an opportunity to find themselves amongst the crowd of uncertainty that is highschool and with this, we can do constructive things for our community. Shaker UNICEF, a club focused around the humanities,  provides for this greatly and is truly a club for everyone.

Shaker has offered clubs to students for years in hopes of building our involvement with groups outside of school and to make it so students have fun during their years at highschool. Each extracurricular activity or club shall have a faculty advisor approved by the principal . Each extracurricular activity or club shall, at a minimum, have a president, secretary, and treasurer. These officers shall be elected annually from among the activity or club’s membership by secret ballot which ensures an impartial voting process solely based on the students. Shaker UNICEF has been a part of our school for years. “UNICEF High School Clubs conduct all kinds of activities in their schools and local communities. Each activity should fall into one of the following categories: education, advocacy or fundraising.”  We are expected to educate ourselves, our fellow members, peers and community about UNICEF’s work. Students are allowed to take part in such an impactful cause that genuinely does help underprivileged people. 

UNICEF states that “Every child has the right to grow up in a safe and inclusive environment, Every child has the right to survive and thrive, and Every child has the right to learn and Every child has the right to an equitable chance in life.” Our school provides us with a gateway to help better someone who is deprived of their rights in a different country. Nearly half of all deaths in children under 5 are attributable to undernutrition which is many times rooted from government turmoil and internal conflicts in countries. We are beyond privileged to walk the halls of our high school knowing that each day we are not actively trying to find ways to obtain food. It is so accessible to us and something we don’t really pay attention to and yet many children wake up wondering if they will find anything of sustenance that day. The UNICEF Club holds meetings to discuss these pressing issues while working hard to make it so meetings are interesting and fun and a place to share your thoughts. It’s a place where if you have a strong desire to help people, discussions and activities are held that pertain to your interests. Things like fundraisers, volunteering, advocacy and collaborative events with your friends take place which not only develop our school’s involvement in our community but also develop every member into a better person.

During the pandemic, the UNICEF Club faced many setbacks. With no way to hold meetings in person, we weren’t allowed to interact with each other and physically make a difference. Years before the pandemic, the UNICEF Club had many more interactive projects like the Washington DC summit. Current president of the UNICEF Club, Keara Papa, attended this summit and said “With hundreds of other UNICEF advocates present at this event, I was able to solidify my passion for the club and the organization as a whole.” Given the chance to meet people from other areas and talk about topics you share a genuine interest in can affect you in many positive ways. You can grow your confidence, become better at public speaking, and be more motivated to help those in need. Even smaller organized UNICEF events within our school like bake sales, volunteering, and auctions better one’s understanding of how to help the community.

With being busy highschool students who are often involved in various clubs, sports and  jobs, we don’t always have time to attend meetings or even take a big standing in certain clubs we like. UNICEF has many ways  you can contribute to their organization without formally being affiliated with a school. They have methods to donate and the website contains many articles pertaining to current issues and what UNICEF is doing to help. The website states the following: “We believe that consistent, credible data about children’s situations are critical to the improvement of their lives – and indispensable to realizing the rights of every child.” Disseminating information that is accurate and relevant is part of UNICEF’s policy because people can do a lot by just being educated. 

With the organization expanding and Shaker High School being extremely inclusive in topics regarding clubs, UNICEF will continue to grow with strong leaders who care about this cause. It takes more than just an advisor to manage important clubs like these. Elected officers speak for all students when considering what will make our club appealing to those wanting to help. “It’s important for seniors to make goals and advocate while we have the ability to see people in person,” stated by Keara Papa.