Environmental organization to foster community involvement
In planning over the summer, seniors Austin Ward and Ricky Lopez launched a website for the Planeteers Club and laid out a preliminary schedule. The organization seeks to foster community service and raise awareness about the environment.
In order to promote community involvement, seniors Austin Ward and Ricky Lopez, under the leadership of adviser Tina Nakashian, have established the Planeteers Club on campus.
Open to all high school students, the first meeting will take place during lunch on Sept. 2, in Room 601.
In order to become a member, students must submit an application form, available in Room 601 and on the club's website, and $15 dues to Nakashian. A deadline has not yet been decided.
Members must reapply each school year and attend at least half of the campus meetings, taking place every other Thursday, as well as three-fourths of the off-campus events, on Saturdays, to be considered active.
The idea for a new club of campus was sparked by Ward, who had been looking for a way to organize an environmentally-focused service group and had heard of such a club from a professor at Willow International.
"Since [Lopez] and I were looking to rally volunteers under one organization, we reasoned that the Planeteers Club would be a great means to do so," Ward said. "The environmental focus of the club reflects our interest in stewardship and also our intention to differentiate the Planeteers Club from other clubs on campus."
Having the same interest in community service, Nakashian encouraged the formation of the club and took on the role of adviser.
"I chose to be the Planeteers Club adviser because its purpose for existing, community service, is something I hold close to my heart," Nakashian said. "The club aims to support volunteer and service events for students, to be an instrument for community service for faculty and administration on campus and to foster an atmosphere of stewardship."
Throughout the year, members of the Planeteers Club will assist, lead and participate in campus service projects as well as off-campus events in the Fresno and Clovis areas, such as cleaning parks, volunteering at Children's Hospital Central California and aiding organizations like the Community Food Bank.
"I know that there are plenty of people in our high school that want to get involved in community service, but don't know how. This gives everyone an opportunity to help other people through an organization that does the planning for them." --Ricky Lopez, '11
Ward encourages any students with a desire to get more involved in the community to join the club, as it offers many opportunities for service with fellow peers.
"As the club's mission states, students should join the Planeteers Club if they want to become involved in their communities and in the world but may not have found a means to do so," Ward said. "The club is a place for student volunteers to share service ideas and collaborate on projects. We also will be hosting guest speakers and working on some activities on campus and off campus."
In addition, joining Planeteers Club gives students a chance to participate in activities that may not have been easy to engage in before.
"I know that there are plenty of people in our high school that want to get involved in community service, but don't know how," Lopez said. "This gives everyone an opportunity to help other people through an organization that does the planning for them. Instead of students feeling too intimidated to do the work to find a place to volunteer, they can join the Planeteers Club and do community service with other people they know to make it more fun."
Despite being in its first year of operation, Lopez anticipates a successful and productive school year for Planeteers Club based on their thorough planning.
"This summer, we spent a lot of time planning out our activities and we already have the first semester planned out," Lopez said. "I am looking forward to getting a large group of students to help out the community and to make a difference by doing community service and spreading Christ's love."
For more information on the club, visit the Planeteers Club website or e-mail Nakashian.