Club Week: Thursday Community Service Clubs

Octagon Club

By Katelyn Chu

Want to be able to give back to the community in a fun and positive light? Then join Octagon Club. Being able to give back to our community through volunteering and giving others inspiration for the future is what Octagon Club strives for. CHS Octagon Club is one of the largest community service clubs on our campus that is geared towards children in elementary schools and volunteering at all different events and even hosting them as well. 

The purpose of Octagon Club in Cerritos High School is to share their passion of community service to other students. Within this club, they have a variety of events that are suited for every student. Their main purpose of the club is to give back to the community to ensure the well-being of all future generations in their area. Their main goals for Octagon are to seek out students who are passionate about community service and need an outlet to do so, and to get plenty of participation and enthusiasm from all of their members.

“I wanted to be a part of Octagon club because I felt like this club fostered a sense of community between the board and its members. With that, I decided to apply for an officer position and became a part of an amazing group that was centered upon helping others. This was very important to me as I feel like this club is a stepping stone into the real world and has allowed me to pick up important skills that leads to the betterment of myself,” Club President Rahul Pratap said 

“My favorite memory of Octagon is our bonding event each year in which we play games and eat together. I also enjoy volunteering at the Needy Family Drive and getting to meet many different people.”

What they believe that sets this club apart from other clubs is the wide variety of events that they hold. Given that an important part of this club is to spread kindness and promote inclusivity. This club has been a really fun experience for them, as their members are like a second family. Their events are all unique and have allowed them to give back to the community while doing things they dearly enjoy.

For the upcoming school year of 2020-2021, the official officers of Cerritos High School Octagon Club are:

Rahul Pratap and Shivani Kedila, co-presidents

Kyli Joe and Jackie Porciuncula, vice presidents

Ava Kam and Angela Wang, treasurers

Mikayla Guerrero, secretary

Kaitlyn Lai, director of publicity

Director of Activities: Simran Kohli, director of activities

Hanna Yang, liaison

Sarah Shrestha, social media manager

Hannah Chung, membership rep.

Their events are not yet finalized, but they will have plenty of opportunities for gaining volunteer hours this year. Nonetheless, Octagon club has contributed to Cerritos High as it has created a safe place for all students to come together and share their passions about community service. This is very important as it allows for a sense of belonging within a group of people striving for the same purpose. Octagon allows students to volunteer and focus on school, which gives students more chances to be more involved in their club. Their club members have the freedom to choose which events they wish to volunteer in, and now that school is online there will be more opportunities to gain volunteer hours.

If you’re interested, join today and don’t miss out on the chance to be part of Cerritos High School Octagon Club. Give back to your community through positive and unique ways. To be updated on Octagon Club events for the school year of 2020-2021, go check out their page on Instagram and follow them @cerritosoctagonclub.

Illumination Foundation

By Katelyn Chu

Homelessness and poverty are inextricably linked. Poor individuals are consistently unable to afford housing to live in, food to eat, childcare, health care, and even education as well. According to the United States Census Bureau, the national poverty rate in 2016 was 12.7%, coming to a conclusion that 40.6 million people are in poverty. There are many factors that contribute to poverty and homeslessness such as lack of unemployment, decline in public assistance, lack of health care, domestic violence, mental illnesses, and even addiction.

However, the Illumination Foundation that has now been implemented in Cerritos High School strives to end homelesness in Los Angeles and Orange County. The homeless crisis gets worse every year, especially in LA. The Illumination Foundation has already vanquished two cycles of homelessness, Intergenerational Homelessness and Chronic Homelessness, and with them they plan to vanquish more. They have a desire to stop homelessness for many individuals out there with these conflicting situations. Although COVID-19 may deter some major efforts to eradicate homelessness in Los Angeles and Los Angeles, they are still motivated to help as many people that are struggling with homelessness as much as possible. Their initiative goals include to aid the Illumination Foundation in ending the cycle of homelessness in our community. They will be working closely with an organization called the Illumination Foundation to help the homeless population in our community through various events and activities.

In the beginning of this year, they wanted to start this club because they wanted to make a difference in our community. We see the homeless population in LA almost everyday and many of them want to start a new life, but can’t because they do not have the resources to. This club and the foundation do exactly that, they help the people that want to start a new chapter and aid them to provide for their families and themselves.

What they believe that makes the Illumination Foundation very extraordinary from similar clubs at school is that they strive to provide services to vulnerable adults and children in order to disrupt the cycle of homelessness. This club is meant to fight the lasting homeless epidemic that has lingered since the 1980s, and they plan to work together to plan new events and fundraisers to help make a change in our community. To them the IF Club is where you have a chance to serve your community and school. Through this club, members will be able to help the homeless community in LA/OC and make a difference in not only in the community but in individual lives.

This club will make a leading impact on the students in Cerritos High School by informing them about the cycle of homeless and allowing them to view those struggling with more empathy. This club will also allow students to be more involved and make change in their communities. This club is not just a volunteer club, we plan on educating and doing good deeds despite the COVID pandemic. They may not be able to leave our houses to volunteer, but that does not mean that they can’t help others.

For the upcoming school year of 2020-2021, the official officers of Cerritos High School Illumination Foundation are:

Marisol Jaramillo and Hetal Patel, co-presidents

Madhuri Suresh and Sabrina Tun, secretaries

Laura Navarro and Audrey Cho, treasurers

Tara Wang and Melanie Sagun, officers of publicity

Eileen Kang and Alessa Gomez, underclassmen representatives

In addition, Illumination Foundation has many upcoming events for this school year, such as during the holiday season, they are planning to have DIY gift boxes that can be distributed at the Illumination Foundation’s Family Shelter. These boxes include some toys and essentials for people that have to face homelessness at  young ages. In the upcoming months, they will be hosting an event where anyone can write a letter to someone in the shelter. When COVID-19 gets better, they also plan to volunteer at their events such as their Valentine’s Day Carnival and the Halloween Carnival.

If you are interested, join today and be a part of this movement to end homelessness in Los Angeles and Orange County. To be updated on Illumination Foundation’s upcoming events, updates, activities, and more, go check out their Instagram @ifclub.chs and Remind @gbe289

American Red Cross

By Rebekah Kang

If you are interested in helping people and working with your local communities, then this club is perfect for you. The American Red Cross club is a non-profit organization that focuses on providing humanitarian assistance in regards to blood health, general safety, and disaster preparedness. In this club, members can look forward to participating in fun events while staying connected with your community. 

“American Red Cross is a club that offers so much to volunteers including community service hours, president volunteer awards, and fun events that you can participate in! In this club, you will experience many learning opportunities for disaster preparedness. Come check us out,” Secretary Elise Chung said.

One of the main goals of the American Red Cross Club is to educate others about staying safe during disasters. In order to successfully fulfill these needs, members make preparation measures to help communities respond efficiently during these dangerous situations. However, members of this club are first educated with essential information through events such as Cerritos Sound the Alarm and PrepareU, which is an educational presentation about emergency preparedness led by ARC volunteers. During the upcoming school year, the American Red Cross club will also be working towards organizing more blood drives to assist hospitals and patients with more blood donations. 

The American Red Cross club welcomes all types of people to join and participate in upcoming events this school year to help create a safe community in Cerritos.

“American Red Cross is a family that provides students with opportunities to learn about disaster preparedness while serving the community!” Vice President Taylor Kim said.

The American Red Cross Club consists of the following leaders:

Mrs. Marcroft, advisor

Brian Koo and Teia Poblete, co-presidents

Taylor Kim, vice president

Alex Sim and Paris Kang, treasurers 

Elise Chung, secretary

If you would like to reach out for more information about the American Red Cross Club, send a message on Instagram @chsamericanredcrossclub.

Surfrider Club 

By Asheley Wi 

Calling all students who are interested in conserving our beaches. This one’s for you.

Purpose of this club: to promote environmentalism among the students of Cerritos High School and allow them to have not only awareness but also involvement with conserving our beaches. 

Future events: fundraisers and at-home projects

Why should students join this club? 

According to Co-President Taylor Kim, “Surfrider Club at CHS is welcome to anyone who loves going to the beach and learning about protecting our planet. Throughout the year we have events such as Campus Cleanups and Beach Cleanups where you can bond with your friends while serving the community. Surfider is a family and we’d love for everyone to join.”

“Living along our country’s coast gives us the responsibility of taking care of the beach. Partaking in hands-on activities continues to protect this gem. The beach is extremely important to us so we must take care of our ocean.” 

Favorite memories? 

 “Cleaning up the beach at Bolsa Chica was our first event and quite intimidating. Seeing new faces and meeting new people was exciting while benefiting the health of the shore. Over 20 of our members gathered litter until it became impossible to find even a small piece of trash,” Co-President Taryn Ogasawara said.

Club advisor: Mr. Kato, advisor 

Taylor Kim and Taryn Ogasawara, co-presidents 

Joshua So, vice president 

Brian Koo and Khushi Patel, treasurer 

Mikayla Guerrero, secretary 

Instagram: @surfridercerritoshigh

Remind: @chssurf21

American Cancer Society

By Karina Singh

Globally, around 18 million people had cancer in 2018, and with a disease that affects so much of the population, it’s no surprise that many who have lost loved ones due to cancer, or simply care about the disease’s impact on entire communities, seek to find solace and an understanding of cancer. Club President Khushi Doshi joined this club for a similar reason. “This club was a tribute from a friend to another friend who passed away due to breast cancer. At such a young age she had to go through something which no one her age should go through. Through this club her memory will forever stay with me and hopefully everyone else.”

American Cancer Society has numerous goals. For one, it ensures that members can learn more about cancer, focusing on specific types of cancer, causes, and how patients can survive cancer in each event and meeting. A further spreading awareness of different types of cancer is another focus of the club, through events like a spirit week in which students wear different colored clothing for awareness of different cancers. 

To directly support cancer patients, the club does quite a lot of fundraising, in the form of various walkathons for example, and provides emotional support by making letters for and having Zoom calls with cancer patients. Interaction with cancer patients is especially important in these times because cancer patients who are in active treatment may be at higher risk of COVID-19, so they are not allowed visitors. Importantly, this club is a safe space for members to be able to talk to cancer patients, learn about their survival stories, the impact of cancer on them, and even open up and share their own stories.

Although cancer itself is a somber topic, the club as a whole comes at the issue from a place of healing, and the club is plenty of fun for members. For example, Vice President Angela Hao particularly remembers how great the Taste of Region event was for the club, which is an event where local food companies set up tents and food trucks, so everyone can sample food and buy some, with all profits going to o St. Judes Medical Center to help researchers find a cure to cancer. “By far anyone who has volunteered at this event has had an amazing time and always looks forward to coming back next year,” she said. And if this all is really speaking to you, don’t use the excuse of time because club members are required to only spend 9 hours per semester, so go check out the American Cancer Society club on their socials. 

Sometimes, a community of people helps with the healing, and learning, along with being able to actively help with an issue, can ease the sense of hopelessness. 

For the upcoming school year of 2020-2021, CHS ACS Club officers are:

Khushi Doshi, president

Angela Hao, vice president

Bianca Chen and Shihara Perera, secretaries

Facebook: CHS American Cancer Society 

Instagram: chsamericancancer


Key Club

By Yvonne Guu

Are you looking to be a part of a positive and inclusive organization? Key Club serves to provide an uplifting environment for its members while serving our community. This organization is part of Kiwanis International which is an international service club, allowing the community service done to impact your surroundings on a worldwide scope. In addition to this, Key Club gives you a chance to socialize with Key Club members all over Southern California. 

In the 2020-2021 school year, Key Club will have tons of interactive events that helps make a difference. For example, this club will be encouraging its members to exercise to raise money via apps like CharityMiles and AtlasGo, making cards for the elderly and essential workers, helping those in need with FreeRice and BeansBeansBeans, Fall Rally, and more. Over the summer, Key Club members participated in the Exercise for a Cause event where members raised money for the charity of their choice using the CharityMiles app. Key Club intends to bring the most interactive and creative online service events to its members.

Not to mention, Key Club also brings the fun to service through their spirited chants. One example of Key Club’s spirit is Fall Rally. Fall Rally is a celebration held at Six Flags in which Key Clubs from a multitude of schools come together. At Fall Rally, Key Club members dress up in respective division colors and mascots to show spirit (CHS Key Club is part of Division 13 North Green Monkeys.). Members call out Key Club division chants throughout the whole event while meeting tons of new people. All funds raised are donated to the Pediatric Trauma Program (PTP) which strives to educate and train people on pediatric trauma, reducing the number of children hurt or killed by trauma. Although Fall Rally is still up in the air, Cerritos Key Club is committed to keeping their members’ spirits up through at-home service and spirit events.

Through these events, many of those involved in Key Club have credited this club to make them a better person. Mikayla Guerrero says, “Because of this club, I find that I have become more extroverted and organized. Since [participating in] my very [Key Club] first event, I have become more and more passionate about community service.” 

The 2020-2021 Key Club officer board currently consists of:

Angelina Lee, president

Hannah Chung and Mikayla Guerrero, vice presidents

Catherine Ishii, treasurer

Madhuri Suresh, secretary

Christina Chi and Joanna Lee, directors of publicity

Livia Bui and Krishna Hajari, project chairs

Mona Labrim, public relations chair

Apoorva Koka, spirit and social chair

Social Media:

Instagram: @cerritoskeyclub

Remind: @chskc21

Google Classroom code: gb4gjgw

Facebook: Cerritos HS Key Club

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