West’s club West Student Leadership plans to continue fostering leaders regardless of COVID-19

West Student Leadership (WSL) continued hearing stories and sharing experiences to help students grow in leadership by conducting its first meeting virtually on October 27th.  

Students have been questioning how West Student Leadership would function this year with the rise of the coronavirus before the planning of the first meeting. Pre-COVID, WSL would have period-long meetings during all lunches at the school with discussions, TED Talks, and pizza on chosen days.

Club sponsor Mrs. Okerman states that the club is “very much driven by its board members” and so the “president, vice president, and elected officials get to have a huge hand in determining how it is led.”

Mrs. Davis, the other sponsor, says that WSL will be similar to years past where “students get to share, learn, and grow through different stories and topics.”

“I’m sure our staff and fantastic leaders will find a way to make WSL successful,” says Profe. Sanchez, a regular participant in the club’s meetings.

Vice President Maeve Repking says that the “board is working hard to make changes to accommodate for the obstacles currently facing [the] club, but since everyone in the club possesses leadership skills, [she thinks the board] will have no problem [continuing] to hold meetings and do activities like [they] previously would.”

Member Morgan Clifford hopes that “WSL could spread positivity by having something for students to look forward to.”

2020 has revealed itself to be different, with students and families dealing with various situations and the use of e-learning/hybrid learning at West. In-person socialization has decreased, and parents are possibly dealing with job problems.

Mrs. Davis states that it is important for WSL to continue to “help students develop those leadership skills through adversity and unplanned events.” She adds that as “2020 has shown us, we never quite know what is going to happen and learning that leadership skill will be really helpful.”

“More than ever, an organization like WSL is needed in order to unite us and support each other,” Profe. Sanchez says.

Speaking on what benefits come from WSL, Maeve says that she “hopes to gain experience of running a club or activity that [she] can use outside of WSL.” Morgan wants to learn about “influencing people in a positive way.” 

Mrs. Okerman explains how WSL helps its members develop leadership skills through “utilizing what was life experience and stories, given more through either TED Talks or development and personal opportunity to explore your skills” and to “look at other people who have similar leadership skills.”

The sponsors, the board, and members all got involved with West Student Leadership for various reasons.

Mrs. Okerman “believes in the quality of students that desire to lead peers” and that was “a group of students that [she wanted] to be involved in.” 

Mrs. Davis loved working with “leaders that will help [the] community as a school and the community as a whole.” It lets her “work with students outside of the classroom and it makes [her] so proud to watch students take ownership of something so positive.”

Profe. Sanchez thinks that it is “fulfilling when [he sees students] attain the self-confidence required to share those experiences.” Being in WSL has reminded him that “it is okay to share [the] toughest moments with others because that is a great way to learn from each other.”

Maeve joined because she was “presented the opportunity to participate in unique service activities” and Morgan joined because she “wanted to learn how to lead [herself] before [she] led others.”

With West Student Leadership’s first meeting for the year done, it hopes to continue conducting meetings and creating leaders.