The Student News Site of Berkley High School

THE SPECTATOR

The Student News Site of Berkley High School

THE SPECTATOR

The Student News Site of Berkley High School

THE SPECTATOR

Exploring the World of Extracurriculars at BHS

During students’ four years of high school, most are gearing up for even more school. Whether this is college, trade school, or fellowship programs, most often you have to apply! When thinking about applications, it can seem very overwhelming because there are so many different options to build resumes and gain experience in varying fields. One thing that people always love to see on any application is extracurricular activities. When students are involved in an extracurricular, they are showing that they can multitask classes during school and be a part of clubs, and holding responsibilities and for themselves. They also show that they care to show interest in their community which shows passion for activities outside of school. So many extracurriculars are available for BHS students. They can join a sports team, clubs in school, clubs outside of school, and many more to increase their participation in their community.
One “club” we will be exploring is National Honors Society. This is a little different then most clubs because you must be invited to apply. In order to qualify, you need at least a 3.5 GPA on a weighted scale to be invited and then you will apply. NHS advisor and English teacher Ms. Farr says “Students must have a weighted GPA of 3.5 or better to be invited to apply, and must be in 10th or 11th grade. We send them a letter through email with the requirements in order to apply, which includes things like getting recommendations from teachers and writing an essay. Then, our faculty council reviews all of the applications and notifies students of their selection or non-selection. Members who are selected participate in an induction ceremony in order to become official members.” Berkley High Schools NHS President, Penelope Cohen, has only been the president for this school year, but she first got involved in middle school. She joined Junior National Honors Society which gave her the clear idea she would apply her sophomore year. Her favorite part of NHS has been the volunteering. She first started volunteering in her home during Covid to get the volunteer credit but has now taken her volunteering much further then her house. She loves the required amount because it forces you to do things you usually wouldn’t have done if you weren’t required to do so. Cohen says to any students who want to be a leader in NHS, “go for it! It’s definitely a challenge but if you feel like you are a good leader it’s a really great position and a great organization to be a part of”.
She also comments that she feels like NHS has given her confidence when applying for opportunities since she’s been so involved in the Berkley community and very active in NHS. The responsibilities of being the president are evenly distributed throughout the officer board. Continuing with the responsibilities, she adds that managing your time as well as balancing your academics and extracurriculars are very important to stay on task. Cohen comments that “students will have to stay on top of their email and Remind messages to hear updates from the board.”
Advisor Farr lastly adds that “NHS candidates are evaluated based on the four pillars – scholarship, leadership, service, and character. Besides the minimum GPA of a 3.5, we do look closely at aspects of students’ leadership and character when making our selections. If you haven’t done service in the past that’s not a dealbreaker, but experience with volunteering does help to showcase your ability to serve others.” To continue to be a member in NHS you need to maintain a weighted 3.5 GPA, attend monthly meetings and complete required community service hours each year.
Next, is UMatter! UMatter is a teen group where students alike can meet and talk about empowering teenagers while focusing ondestigmatizing talk about mental health and suicide prevention. UMatter is a place where teens can find support through creating genuine connections with people who are similar to them. Teen Program Coordinator Courtney Jones, talks about students’ involvement with UMatter as such a great opportunity for students to pop in if they want to with no prerequisite or an application process. Jones says “UMatter aims to create a safe, positive environment where teens are able to open up about their own mental health and grow with their peers”.
Talking to board member Sophia Baron, she says, “everyone cares about making sure people feel like they have a community and place to be vulnerable”.
UMatter is run by the student board but advised by Courtney Jones and Rabbi Yarden. While they can help, the teens are the ones working on outreach and participation. Teen talks are held every Wednesday which are open to everyone at the Bloomfield Hills Schools Booth Center in Bloomfield. Baron remarks, “our social events and board events happen at different fun places like the Creative Art Studio or Soul studio”.
Baron first heard of UMatter as a freshman through her friends’ older siblings and then got further involved her sophomore year! She adds that “there are so many ways to get involved with UMatter! We have Teen Talks on Wednesday where we all meet and discuss a topic. For example, the subject of a Teen Talk may be on how to deal with school stress or the struggles of social media, and we all just have an open conversation about the topic. Definitely come join for one of those, it’s super low stress. They are only an hour and it’s not a lot of commitment!”
UMatter also has our social events which are open to anyone, and make sure to follow UMatter or Friendship Circle on Instagram which is updated with how students can get involved and when. You have to attend a certain amount of meetings if you’re on the board. The social events that are held are to bring students who want to participate in the club. Baron adds that “We also have Teen Shabbat at Rabbi Yarden’s house once throughout the year and we have our big Umatter event called ‘One Thing I Wish You Knew’ in March where people who were struggling with mental health or struggling in general share their stories, and the process they went through to seek out help and gain resources to improve their well-being.”

Juniors Jessie Burns and Hailey Kirkwood, the founders and organizers of SpikeBall Club, created an outlet for students to have some fun with other BHS students in and outside of school. The game SpikeBall can be a lowkey or intense backyard game that is easily played with friends. SpikeBall has become a popular game to play at get togethers. They first created SpikeBall club in September and have had a blast ever since! They created this club because they both enjoyed playing SpikeBall and wanted to include their friends involved too. They searched for a way to create a more organized way to play and creating a club was the thing they were searching for! In regard to who can or should join, Burns states, “Anyone can come and join even if you’ve never played before. it’s something that anyone can pick up”. Burns and Kirkwood put a lot of thought into keeping their club open to all grades and not making it limited to certain students. People keep coming back to SpikeBall club because it’s so open and friendly to anyone who joins. Burns adds that “joining a club is a great way to meet others, and it is important to find more ways to be social in your community”.








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About the Contributor
Scarlett Buick, Feature Editor
Hello, my name is Scarlett Buick, and I am a sophomore at Berkley High! This is my first year on staff as a staff writer. I joined the class to expand my writing knowledge and by doing so, having a creative direction! I am interested in writing about student life and sports! I am a swimmer here at BHS, and I am so excited to be a part of the journalism staff this year! My donut cutter choice is an apple fritter ;) Go bears!”

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