S Club Now at Liberty High School
A group of Liberty High School students are giving back to our community through S Club—and having fun while doing it. S Club is an extension of Soroptimist International, and the high schoolers get to partner with our local chapter for community events, who serve as advisors, filling them in on what they’re doing and letting the youth voice be heard.
“Every student gets an input in something, which is really nice,” says S Club Vice President Alexis Mkrtchyan. “Everyone gets to have an opinion.”
How did it all get started?
Morgan Castleman, president of S Club and a senior at Liberty, wanted to take a chance.
“When I went to BHS, I joined the S Club group there. It was going somewhere, but all the events that were hosted, most of them nobody really went to, as far as students,” she says. “When I went to Liberty, there wasn’t [an S Club], so I decided to make one to see if it’d be different. I don’t know; sometimes you can get through to people better being a high schooler. High schoolers talking to high schoolers about things. The voice gets heard better.”
And she was right.
When Advisor Leeann Cawley met with Kim Lewis, the principal of Liberty High School, earlier this school year to chat about the idea, they were hoping for any participation. “She said it would be great if I could get 4 or 5 people to embrace this plan,” says Cawley. “Remember, there’s only 75 students [at Liberty High School]. The principal said ‘If you can get 5 or 6 people to show up at your launch meeting, I will be thrilled.’ Believe it or not, we’re holding pretty strong at 15 every meeting, so we’re pretty excited about it.”
For having been formed for such a short amount of time, the S Club’s impact on their school and the community has been huge—through both big and small ways.
The group helps out where they can, and even has members who pull Liberty’s across-the-street neighbors’ trash cans in and out for them.
“That’s how some of our group members get hours who want to be in the club and can’t come to all of the events,” says Castleman.
Most recently, the club partnered with Daughter of Luna on First Street, acquiring roses to sell on campus at Liberty for Valentine’s Day; their biggest fundraiser to date, however has been their Blinky Light Booth at our town’s annual Tree Lighting, where they offered up everything the name suggests—think lightsabers, boas, and antlers.
“By the end of the night, we were selling the things that we were wearing on ourselves that had been there as advertising,” says S Club treasurer Sade Stewart. “…we all have fun when we’re doing things. When you have everybody with good energy around and you’re doing something good, it just makes it better.”
S Club was able to raise roughly $1500 that night.
Part of these funds went to Adopt-a-Family, where they were able to provide gifts for the children of an anonymous Benicia family, who could otherwise not have afforded to.
“Their little girl was more into princesses and the little boy liked sumo wrestling and dinosaurs,” Castleman says. “We found them both some pretty cool things.”
For Benicia residents who would like to show their support for these young philanthropists, be on the lookout for local happenings and events—especially on social media. For example, their holiday Teddy Bear Tea held at the Clocktower (an ode to the event that used to take place at Camellia Tea Room) was marketed quite a bit, and the Benicia Soroptimist page on Facebook posted a lot about the Blinky Light Booth at the Tree Lighting.
The current members love multiple aspects of the club, including gaining valuable life skills such as event management, people management, and how to run a business—all while getting to socialize at the same time.
“I enjoy being at S Club because I get to be with my friends 24/7 and we get to experience all these things we probably haven’t experienced yet,” says S Club Secretary Myanna Wallace. “It’s just nice and great with bonding time and getting to know others you don’t know.”
If you’re a student at Liberty High School and would like to get involved, the club meets every third Wednesday of the month for about an hour after school.
“We want to expand to have more people get an opportunity to understand what it’s all about,” says Mkrtchyan. “I feel like if they have the chance, they’ll really like it.”