Senior Connections Club Teaches Leadership Skills
By Jasmine Pacheco
Although not often talked about, participating in school clubs is an underrated and highly beneficial opportunity that many students should acknowledge throughout their high school years. If taken seriously, a student could consider taking it a step further and running for a leadership position such as filling in the spot of president or vice president.
A notable example of one of the many successful Ponte Vedra High School (PVHS) clubs is Senior Connections. Senior Connections is dedicated to helping senior citizens maintain independence and quality of life as they age. Senior Connections is an active organization that started in 1973 and depends on the generosity and support of individuals to enhance their purpose. Senior Connections happens to be part of a state and national network of Area Agencies on Aging which is focused on improving the quality of life for all older adults. This organization soon became a club at PVHS which continues to support their efforts with high school students’ contribution.
“Senior Connections is a student-based club focused on serving the elderly in our community and forming meaningful relationships with them. We are passionate about bringing awareness of Alzheimer’s and Dementia and the stigma that surrounds the diseases,” commented Sofia Diago, a junior attending PVHS.
The club president is responsible for setting and monitoring the goals of the club, scheduling and running club meetings, delegating tasks as necessary and maintaining regular communication with all members and officers within the club. As club president, one must focus on planning, organization, and carrying out important responsibilities. Being a club president shows how one has taken the initiative to be a leader.
“I have been the president of Senior Connections since my freshman year, so for three years. I had been involved with Senior Connections during middle school where I began to volunteer at care homes by singing and playing the guitar with my sister. Once I moved to high school, I was given the opportunity to become president. As president of Senior Connections, I communicate with the directors of care homes to organize volunteering events; relay information to the club officers and members; collate materials for our events like our funds, supplies, advertisements, etc.; and update our records for attendance and funds,” added Mira Bhutani, a PVHS junior and the club president of Senior Connections.
As vice president, one is seen as the right hand of the president which means they should be prepared to aid the president and other officers with their duties. In order to do this in an effective manner, the vice president must be in contact with the work and policies of the club. Sofia Diago is also the vice president of Senior Connections and has been since her first year of high school. “My role as vice president is to plan and organize monthly meetings and craft activities for our club members to create and send to residential homes. I also assist in making our club t-shirts and I participate in creating crafts and making goodie bags for the seniors,” Diago remarked.
Senior Connections often has its club meetings before school and at least once a month. In these meetings, the club plans activities such as arts and crafts made by club members and shipped to residential homes by the club officers. “I greatly enjoy creating crafts at our monthly meetings and incorporating bright colors and thoughtful messages onto them. I have been a part of the PVHS Senior Connections club since my freshman year and I’m really glad to be able to work with such a fun club that not only is entertaining to participate in but also leaves a positive mark when we get the opportunity to personally give these crafts to the seniors at the residential homes,” stated Valerie Reyes, a junior at PVHS who is also the social media manager of Senior Connections.
Becoming a leader and taking part in the activities PVHS has to offer will guarantee a stronger bond and connection with one’s community and it will also be much more of a rewarding experience all around. Although it may take some time and lots of effort, Senior Connections at PVHS is an example of a great place to start.