S Club—a service club at Benicia High School—could stand for service, or in the case of this outstanding group of young women, service with a smile. More accurately, the S Club is so named because it is mentored by the Soroptimist Club of Benicia.

Founded in 1921, Soroptimist International is a volunteer organization for business and professional women and men, whose mission is "to improve the lives of women and girls through programs leading to social and economic empowerment." Soroptimist International of Benicia has been around since 1976. The House of Hope, a residence for victims of domestic violence, has been its signature project for the last few years. The S club, consisting this year of 15 members, shares the basic tenets of the Soroptimist mission. Club members have a long list of accomplishments, including volunteerism, raising funds for local projects and community organizations and community involvement. And it's always with a smile.

The S club pairs with the Soroptimist of Benicia on a number of fundraising activities over the course of the year. These include selling ice cream in City Park on the Fourth of July, selling raffle tickets at the Sip with Soroptimist Gala, Benicia City Employees Crab Feed, and Fashion Weekend’s Christina S Fashion Show. New this year, the club will help sell raffle tickets at the Soroptimist Spring Tea. The S club donates pajamas every Christmas to the Benicia Family Resource Center, and participates in the Vallejo/Benicia Relay for Life. Fundraising at that event is achieved with a cakewalk. Their signature fundraiser, the sale of blinky lights at the Christmas Open House on First Street, raised $500. These funds are earmarked for SafeQuest Solano, the county's domestic violence organization. Recently, the Club sponsored a pizza takeover, with the $300 profit going to the California Fire Foundation.

Impressive? That's not all.

Participation by S Club members in various community activities keeps these ladies busy. They take part in the vigil for Domestic Violence Awareness on First Street every year, volunteer at the Spring Fling for PACE students on a yearly basis, and join the Soroptimist of Benicia Club at the Saturday of Service at Casa de Vilarrasa Senior Housing. During the Love is Respect Week in February, they sponsored a presentation to the BHS student body on Teen Dating Violence Awareness.

Under the guidance of Soroptimist mentors Karen Hubbard and Leeann Cawley and faculty advisor Mr. Jesus Molina, these young ladies have demonstrated their desire for volunteerism, dedication to a cause, leadership and social skills—preparing the way for the challenges they will face as they enter college and the work world. At a recent S Club meeting, run efficiently by club president Emily Jewik, members responded to the question "Why did you join this club?"  Trina Bernal replied, "I know someone from the club who has gone on to great success in her life." Neha Yadav responded, "I like how it’s about helping girls and women, empowering us. I feel obliged to do it."

Our fine city should be proud of these polite and respectful young women—outstanding representatives of the young people in our community. They inspire hope and dreams for women and girls in our community and throughout the world.

Other service clubs at Benicia High include the Interact Club, Key Club, Leadership and the National Honor Society. For a complete list of BHS Clubs, visit bhs.beniciaunified.org/parents-students/student-clubs.