By Sophia Li
Leadership club is the driving force behind spirit days, formals, pop-ups, and other community events, yet it is run almost entirely by students. So, how do they do this? What is it like being in the club? What does it take to get in? How did this club start?
Leadership club was founded in 2014 by juniors, Julia Wang and Ashley Phan. Wang says that it was Phan’s mom who told them, “‘You guys should start something…d.tech’s new…You guys have past leadership experience.’” Wang explains that they also wanted to “do things for the students…make sure people are involved…having fun.” Having also been on the leadership team together in middle school, they decided to start a leadership club. They made a presentation, pitched it to Dr. Montgomery, and eventually to the whole school. Together, they recruited students, and the club has grown steadily since then.
In its first year, leadership planned a Halloween Assembly, one dance event, and a few spirit days. Now, they have expanded to a larger variety and number of events. For example, this year they organized a Cultural Festival, Halloween Movie Night, Canned Food Drive, Talent Show, pop-ups, and more. Additionally, they have also held three dance events so far this year: the Falliday dance, the Greased Lightning Winter Formal, and Junior Prom.
Leadership club is also more organized compared to previous years. The club is now split into six groups: Events, Public Relations, Spirit, Outreach, Fundraising/Budgeting, and a new team called Student Experience.
Events is in charge of planning “major social events…[like working] on school dances,” says an Events member. Public Relations helps put up advertisements. Spirit is in charge of planning spirit days. Outreach communicates to the student community and does community service. Fundraising/Budgeting helps “raise money for all school dances and functions” says Diego Caoili, a Fundraising/Budgeting member.
Student Experience, the new group, is focused on “the wellness of d.tech students…making sure student voices are heard” Wang says. Melissa Mizel was the one who reached out to Leadership club and suggested that they create this group to engage d.tech students.
Overlooking these groups are president Wang and vice-president Nicholas Garland. The other administrative positions include: treasurer, secretary, and team/group leaders.
Wang describes her experience being the president as enjoyable, “it’s nice to see students gaining confidence and slowly transitioning into a leadership position.” She says this is important because “Seniors are not going to be here next year…so we are encouraging students to step up.”
In terms of accepting club members, Wang says that they look for students who are “community-driven and…have the desire to help the school.” However, Wang adds, “We had to be a little pickier this year…it’s hard when you have a lot of people who are trying to apply, and we don’t have many spaces open” because “from past experience, [when] we had a lot of people in the club…there would be a lot of people who aren’t as engaged.”
Some red flags would be when people say things like “‘I’m just doing this cause it looks good on a college [application].’” However, Wang says that it still depends on the overall picture. Students who re-apply but haven’t shown engagement in the previous years will also be rejected.
Once accepted, it is expected that each member is a “good role model for the d.tech community”, that “you…keep your grades up”, and that “you are able to work with your group and contribute.” Wang stresses that “you have to be committed…there’s a lot of things you have to do so you have to make sure that you are able to balance that.”
Though there is a large workload, current club members feel like they learn from it. Kleiton Macrohon, a Student Experience member, says, “I like having the ability to help make decisions for how events pan out, and being a part of a team. Each member has an equal say in most things, and no one is ever shut down in terms of ideas. It’s a cool gig!”
Leadership club has come a long way since 2014. It started with an idea to engage students, and has evolved to become one of the major organizations of d.tech. Thanks to it, students at d.tech get to experience spirit days, dances, and other school events that we might not otherwise have gotten to.