Creating a buzz

Leadership. Empowerment. Guidance. The Becoming Empowered through Education (B.E.E.) Club is creating a buzz with the female students at Cedar Shoals High School.

Beginning in January earlier this year, B.E.E. Club has offered peer mentorship opportunities to female students at Cedar. The club focuses on creating leadership skills, encouraging a positive environment, and providing guidance to its members. 

“It’s great to have the young ladies be able to interact with each other and encourage one another in a positive setting. I think it’s important to help them build positive relationships,” said counselor Mrs. Shamikia Bolton, B.E.E. Club faculty sponsor. 

The founder of the B.E.E. club, Akilah Blount, was inspired to create the club based on her own high school experience. 

“I really felt like there was a space needed where girls could come and feel like they belong. I feel there were a lot of cliques in high school and sometimes these groups make you feel like you don’t belong,” said Blount. 

B.E.E. Club recently had a welcoming week to encourage students to join. Students participated in games and icebreakers to get to know each other better. 

“The senior mentors introduced themselves to us. We played a lot of games and had fun. I feel like I’m going to have many new friends,” said Aliyah Adams, 9th grade. 

On September 11, B.E.E. Club held its first general meeting after school. Each month, the club focuses on a specific theme. For September, the theme is “Be About Your Business.” Members will focus on how to achieve optimal success in the classroom, at work, in extracurricular activities, and in social settings. They will focus on mindfulness, organization, and time-management skills. 

“We did activities that felt empowering. We learned about knowing your worth and knowing what you have to do to go and get what you want out of life,” said Ah’tondra Pittard, 9th grade. 

Proud Founder: Akilah Blount founded the B.E.E. Club to provide the experiences she feels that she lacked. “I created the B.E.E. Club because I didn’t get into an organization that I wanted to get into. I felt like we shouldn’t tell girls that they aren’t good enough to be a part of something.” Story by Alyssa Golding and Sue Odeyemi.

Senior mentors are in charge of planning meetings, activities, and providing guidance to younger students. 

“This past summer, we planned the meetings and came up with icebreakers to get the girls to be more comfortable with each other. We had to plan activities to make the girls keep on attending meetings,” said Kadeisha Camp, 12th grade and president of B.E.E. Club. 

Senior leaders gain leadership skills from mentoring. They also receive help with things like college applications. 

“B.E.E. club helped me become more a leader and making sure my voice is being heard. I’ve also learned about different colleges and universities since I’ll be applying soon,” said Dania Flint, 12th grade and vice president of B.E.E. Club.

Despite having a good year so far, B.E.E. Club still faces some challenges. 

“We definitely need more juniors to get involved. The goal is to have them start their training so they can become the leaders next school year,” said Bolton. 

“Since our leaders are all seniors, we have trouble making time for B.E.E. Club. Many of us have jobs and we have to find time for our jobs and this club as well,” said Camp. 

Members agree that having an organization like B.E.E. Club is beneficial to Cedar. 

“I think that there are females here that feel like they aren’t being respected. They don’t feel empowered. Some guys at Cedar don’t even respect each other. So they do the same to the females. They’ll cuss them out and make fun of them,” said Pittard. 

“I feel like Cedar doesn’t have the best look on our females here. Having the B.E.E. club here gives our young ladies at school a different, more positive name. Once positivity comes to Cedar, it starts to spread,” said Kayla Conner, 11th grade.