Dedicated. Passionate. Ambitious. The members of the Cedar Shoals HoPe Club are working to make an impact not only in the school but in the community as well.
Cedar Shoals’ Hispanic Organization Promoting Education (HoPe) Club was started 4 years ago and in that time a lot has been accomplished. The HoPe Club strives to help out students academically and give back to the community.
“It really emphasizes the hard work that some students do, and they don’t get enough credit for their hard work. I feel like we really take this club and show them off and show their parents that they should be proud of their kids,” Vice President of Service Kelly Medina said.
The HoPe Club reached around 700 hours of community service last school year. In four months in 2019, they have already reached 653 hours of community service and want to achieve 1,000 hours by the end of the school year. They go to local animal shelters, food banks, and elementary schools, for example.
“Some types of activities that we do is community service at animal shelters, schools, and many other places where they accept volunteers,” Vice President of Communications Shellsy Cortez-Franco said. “My favorite part of the club is when we get to help others in our community.”
One of HoPe’s significant goals is to help students academically.
They help students with college and jobs by giving them leadership opportunities, helping with their education, and helping them create a plan and pathway.
“It opens up a lot of opportunities for students that don’t always see a future. We give them more opportunities to do well and to step outside of the school and give back to the community, it helps them when they’re applying to colleges or even jobs,” Vice President of Development Guadalupe Corona-Zavala said.
Cedar Shoals Spanish teacher and club sponsor Mr. Aaron Farnham says he has learned a lot from his experience advising the club. “I’ve learned how much we can trust our students to do good work and just how fantastic our students can be. That’s been the biggest benefit to me as the advisor and it’s what makes me want to continue working with the students.”
Farnham also said that the majority of leadership comes from the students.
“They’ve organized different events, they’ve planned, they’ve beaten me to finding coverage when I couldn’t be at an event and they needed someone there as an adult supervisor. They’re really on top of their game.”
Another significant goal is to encourage students of other races to attend. They plan to do this by taking the time to tell students all about HoPe and the opportunities they provide.
“I want to be able to influence the younger ones, in order to see their generation doing so much towards success and influencing others. In the future, I dream of having so many students from a different race and helping the community out,” HoPe President Erika Ruballos-Salazar said.