Ponte Vedra High School Continues its Diversity by Adding the Club Latinx
By Jasmine Pacheco
Ponte Vedra High School (PVHS) has recently introduced a new club to enhance the school community for all students. The Latinx club was founded by a senior attending PVHS with an effort to spread knowledge over cultural traditions and customs.
Valerie Reyes a PVHS senior and the Latinx club president explained, “Essentially, it’s a club that focuses on creating a space that’s engaging and can connect various students, all centered around Latin culture. We plan on having events throughout the year that are open to the public, that celebrate Latin food and traditions.” Reyes elaborated, “I intended it to primarily benefit Latino students from Ponte Vedra, ensuring a space they feel comfortable and can meet people they can relate to on a different level than the majority of our school. Hopefully, it will also benefit our general community, whether teachers, other students, or just residents in Ponte Vedra, by teaching them about different cultures.”
When it comes to time management skills, running a club while juggling after school activities and college applications can be quite a hassle. Reyes explained, “I would say I spend around three hours a week, give or take, preparing for or even just thinking about the club. I am honestly really passionate about it and have high hopes for the future, so any time I invest is worth it.”
Reyes added to this topic, “College applications are taking up a lot of my free time, aside from my prior responsibilities, so it can be challenging to find time for this club. I try my best to set aside time to plan meetings and events, but it is difficult.”
Reyes went on, “It takes a lot of support, confidence, and passion to be the president of this club. I cannot do it all on my own because otherwise I would be the only member. I take advice from my friends, family, and members in efforts to try to find out what is best for the club. It also takes a lot of confidence to be the president. Honestly running a club that does not connect with a lot of people can be intimidating but I have my goals and intentions for what this club will be so I am prepared to make mistakes but, in the end, it will all be worth it if I can help foster an enriching environment.”
Specifically, the Latinx club has had its own process to follow just like every other PVHS club. Reyes began, “I chose Latinx for a few reasons. First off, I would most likely not call myself Latinx I would say Latina, but that title does not fit everyone in the club. Latino did not sit well with me either, mostly because, well, it is my club and while not identifying with the -o, I wanted to feel included in the name itself. So, either way Latino or Latina, intentionally or not, felt to me as isolating in a sense.” Reyes continued to explain her reasoning, “Hispanic is not as widely a used term nowadays, and not speaking Spanish myself, did not hold the connotation I intended. Lastly there was Latine vs Latinx. Once more, I would never call myself whether of these terms but in the end, this is a club title. I decided on Latinx because I felt it best includes people of all gender identities and because the club is open to people of all ethnic backgrounds, the X appears non-defining. So, in the end, Latinx Student Union was the chosen club’s name. I believe Ms. Jasper had to approve of all the clubs, their intentions and titles. I submitted an application, found a sponsor, and then the club was accepted!”
The Latinx club has a bright future ahead in the PVHS club timeline, with this Reyes is certainly one to spread her knowledge from running such a unique and well represented club in her soon to be college lifestyle. “While it’s a lot of responsibility, I do enjoy my role. I founded this club because I wanted to create a specific community that I, and hopefully others, can connect to. I will always be proud of being the president of this club,” stated Reyes.