Behind the scenes of Beacon’s beloved clubs

By Keira Krisburg

Most Beacon students remember at one time or another walking the crowded halls in the beginning of the school year, overwhelmed by the eager faces of club leaders. As students roamed from room to room, thoughts like, “Is this a good fit for me?” or “How can I contribute?” likely circulated through their heads. However, this thrilling experience became overshadowed by stress, peer pressure, opinions from parents, or other factors, which clouded opinions.

From underwater robotics to knitting, there is almost a club for every interest at Beacon. Unfortunately, not everyone can be an active member of all the clubs they’re interested in, but that doesn’t mean these activities shouldn’t be talked about. Each week, club leaders diligently prepare thought-provoking discussions and ensure all members feel included. Some Beacon teachers also are dedicated club advisors that let leaders use their space and resources. 

As we conclude this school year, club leaders were interviewed about their favorite moments.

Women in Business:

Club Leaders: Carly Shatz & Sydney Gaynor

Club Advisor: Ms. Khevelev

Instagram: @beaconwomeninbusiness

Keira Krisburg (KK): What were the highlights of the club this year? 

WIB: One was definitely our mini-group presentations in which members formed small groups of mixed grades and taught a business lesson to the rest of us. Another was our interview lesson in which we did “speed-dating” interviews to practice common college and job interview questions. Resume-building workshops are always helpful for the girls and are very productive. Also, our tradition of bringing weekly baked goods and having everyone else make stuff is always fun and yummy for everyone. No matter what we have planned, all our members come enthusiastically and open-minded. It is truly so special to see the same faces week after week.

KK: What improvements or additions are you hoping for next year?

WIB: While we will both be off at college next year, we are excited to see our new leadership team take the club to the next level. We are hoping to bring in more guest speakers and possibly take field trips or engage in more interactive learning. We are also eager to connect with other Beacon clubs to have joint activities and events. We are open to suggestions, so if you have any ideas, please let us know!

The Culture Club:

Club Leader: Rakib Foysal

Club Advisor: Ms. Green

Instagram: @beaconculture

KK: What were the highlights of the club this year? 

CC: Our recent co-sponsorship with the Bollywood Club to assist in the organization of the annual Beacon Cultural Appreciation Festival was a significant step forward for our club. Culture Club’s mission is to empathize with Beacon’s variety and learn about one another. As a result, this was an excellent way to contribute to Beacon’s appreciation of diversity. We collaborated to decorate the auditorium in preparation for the wonderful performers. It was an incredible experience to be a part of!

KK: What improvements or additions are you hoping for next year?

CC: Our goal for next year is to bring in more different people to share their stories and organize our contributions to Beacon. We seek to expand our club and recruit new members and leaders to help arrange trips, fundraisers, and other events.

Model Congress: 

Club Leader: Daisy Thomas

Club Advisor: Mr. Traglio

Instagram: @beaconmodelcongress

KK: What were the highlights of the club this year? 

MC:  Model Congress had a wonderful year! We attended Princeton, Yale, Harvard, Columbia, and UPenn Model Congress. We won dozens of awards at these conferences, making Beacon proud! We hosted a conference where schools traveled to Beacon from schools as far as Delaware. Our club members wrote over a hundred pages of carefully researched documents describing problems and how they can be addressed through law. We have enjoyed simulations about constitutional crises, the Supreme Court, and, of course, the branches of Congress themselves: the House of Representatives and the Senate.

KK: What improvements or additions are you hoping for next year?

MC: We have been discussing how to support new members, how to go to more in-person collegiate conferences, how to make away conferences more affordable, and how to make meetings informative and fun. Next year, as pandemic restrictions recede, we plan on traveling to many more out-of-state conferences. These are an excellent opportunity to learn about debate and bond as a club community.

Beacon Student Government:

President: Amina Castronovo

Instagram: @beaconstudentgov, @beaconstudentgovpresident

KK: What were the highlights of the club this year? 

SG: Internally, we worked with the administration and guidance team on an advisory curriculum and education for teachers surrounding inclusivity in the classroom. For instance, we helped to arrange for B’SAGA to lead a pronoun education course during professional development. As the year progressed, we also focused on being a line of communication from the student body to Brady through regular meetings, social media, emails, et cetera. Our SLT representatives– Kelly Lantigua, Wendi Segal, and Amina Castronovo– worked at becoming integral and respected members of the SLT who stand up for student needs and rights. Lastly, through SLT and the Beacon United Unions, Amina is organizing the first admissions meeting, which will include every union at Beacon, to create an admissions vision for next year. 

KK: What improvements or additions are you hoping for next year?

SG: We are hoping that the institutional plans we have founded this year such as an inclusive advisory curriculum and admissions objective be implemented successfully next year. Student Government is what you make of it, and this year our main goal was to establish ourselves as legitimate leaders and voices at Beacon who are true allies to the communities within Beacon, as well as reshaping the boundaries of how Student Government has historically worked at Beacon. This is the first year that any Beacon student is eligible to run for Student Government leadership, and we hope that this incentivizes students to become more active next year.  

Beacon Collaborative Minds: 

Club Leader: Melinda Kukaj and Anaya Baptiste

Club Advisor: Ms. Knight

Instagram: @beaconcollaborativeminds

KK: What were the highlights of the club this year? 

BCM: This year, we started by creating a mental health wall on the fifth floor. We also organized a raffle for mental health awareness month where the entire school participated in hopes of winning self-care packages. We had different tiers including face masks, chapstick, candles, tea bags and more. All the proceeds from the raffle went directly towards a mental health nonprofit called the Trevor Project, which is an organization that provides mental health resources for those identifying as LGBTQIA+. In order to promote mental health awareness within Beacon, we also created guidance counselor posters that have been posted all around the school. 

KK: What improvements or additions are you hoping for next year?

MK: Next year we are hoping to have a mental health day where students can engage in activities and workshops regarding mental health. We would love for this to be similar to the Environmental Justice Club’s workshops. We want all clubs to engage in this and talk about mental health in their respective communities. Additionally, we would love to have educational workshops run by counselors, staff, or even students. These workshops would include topics such as stress management, time management, depression hacks and more. Lastly, we would also like to implement safe student spaces where students can go if they are having a difficult time. We know that Student Government is working on implementing more student spaces, however we would like our spaces to be a little more personal. We would like to give students a safe space where they can de-stress or even be alone. 

Thanks to all these club leaders for their time.

As for The Beacon Beat, we’ve published a wide variety of articles this year with diverse authors from different grade levels. Leaders Sammy Bovitz and Sanai Rashid worked hard to ensure fresh articles were available for Beacon students to read and enjoy weekly.  We were even able to create a print edition for the first time in three years featuring some of these articles!

New club leaders may take over next year, but only thanks to the foundations set by leadership this year while running a club post-COVID. All of the clubs were able to eagerly bounce back and create welcoming communities that students could participate in this year.