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Take Five with the Student Council Civics Club at Hyde Park Academy

02 February 2024

The Student Council Civics Club is organized around giving students an opportunity to have a voice, develop leadership skills, and engage with their community.

Six members of the Student Council Civics Club and their staff sponsor, Ms. Hill, pose for a photo inside of a classroom

Take Five is a series that highlights some of the many members of the CPS community who are going above and beyond for our schools. If you know someone who is making a difference, nominate them to be featured here

We’re excited to spotlight six of our incredible high school students who are members of the Student Council Civics Club at Hyde Park Academy: Braylah, Cherish, Devan, Elijah, Naomi, and Semaj.

The Student Council Civics Club is organized around giving students an opportunity to have a voice, develop leadership skills, and engage with their community. Sponsored by staff members Ms. Natalie Hill and Ms. Shatondria Clayton, the club meets weekly to plan different initiatives that promote student civic engagement. These events are student-led and usually organized around a relevant theme, like Breast Cancer Awareness or Black History Month.

Most recently, the club hosted a toiletry and food drive and donated all items to a local homeless shelter in their community.

A collage of photos from the Student Council Civics Club's food and toiletry drive
The club asked freshmen to bring toiletries and sophomores to bring dry and canned food; juniors packed up bagged lunches and seniors delivered the donations.

Part of the club’s responsibilities also involve presenting their ideas to their principal and the Hyde Park Academy Local School Council, which gives students the opportunity to develop their public speaking skills.

“It has been a joy to work with all of the students this year and observe how they navigate planning, brainstorming, and group work,” said Ms. Hill. “One of my ultimate goals is for the club to take a trip to Washington, D.C., so students can see civic engagement on a larger scale.”

Next up for the Student Council Civics Club? Their Valentine’s Day Fundraiser! Students are planning on selling items like chocolates and balloons with the goal of raising money so that the club can purchase more supplies and plan for trips!

Why did you decide to get more involved in your community?

Braylah: There are so many programs and groups that are trying to make a positive impact in the community, and I wanted to be a part of that. I want to help my school, too.

Cherish: I felt like I didn’t have a voice, and I wanted to have a place where my opinion was listened to.

Devan: I haven’t always done much to be engaged with school, and I wanted to change that by helping plan things for other students to participate in.

Elijah: I wanted to get more involved and help the community.

Naomi: I want to show other students that there are people who care about them and our school.

Semaj: I wanted to make a change and be a positive example for making the right choice.

What is something that you’ve learned from your experiences in the club?

All: Social skills and how to work well in a group. 

What is your favorite part of being a member of the Student Council Civics Club?

Braylah: Being able to help people.

Cherish: Meeting new people, especially people I might never have talked to otherwise.

Elijah: Group work. 

Devan: The meetings and planning the events.

Naomi: Making new friends.

Semaj: The joy and the people around me.

What advice would you give to other students who want to get more involved?

All: Don’t be scared to voice your opinion. You have a voice, and if you want to see a change, speak up! Other students are probably feeling the same way that you are.

What do you like to do when you’re not at Student Council Civics Club?

Braylah: A lot of things, but especially dance, cheer, volleyball, and reading.

Cherish: Flag football and digital media!

Devan: I like to spend time with my friends and family.

Elijah: Photography, and I’m also a member of the Robotics Club.

Naomi: I’m a dancer, and I love fashion design.

Semaj: I just love to enjoy life!

A collage of photos from the Student Council Civics Club's breast cancer awareness event.
The club’s Breast Cancer Awareness event included a balloon release in front of the school.

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