South Spotlight: New Year, New Clubs

By Sophia Mao

A new school year means taking advantage of new opportunities. From meeting new people to trying new things, joining a club can be a great way to pursue your latent interests. With the addition of four new clubs this year, consider joining something new to yourself and our school. 

Fashion Club

Senior Aditi Pardeshi, the founder of Fashion Club, originally wanted to pursue a career in medicine. Her ambitions  changed when she took a Portfolio Design class at the New York Sewing Center. Her mentor, Timothy Westbrook, who was briefly on Project Runway season twelve, exposed  Pardeshi to his sustainability-focused style and encouraging her to pursue her own. From then on, Pardeshi’s tentative interest became a career goal. Her earnestness  is reflected in her dedication to writing fashion articles for The Southerner and enthusiasm in spearheading the Fashion Club. 

“[Fashion Club] is  a welcoming environment for people who either don’t know anything about fashion but want to learn a little bit more about it or already have a sense of fashion savvy and just want to express themselves,” advisor  Mrs. Christa Griggs-Bello said. 

The Fashion Club meets every Wednesday after school in Room 401. So far, club members made jewelry out of everyday materials, and, in the future, they plan to alter costumes for  Theater South. Once they have enough funding, club members hope to take trips to the Fashion Institute of Technologyand the Garment District in Manhattan and visit workshops and factories for clothing production and design. 

If fashion is not for you, you can try exploring different waters. Sophomore Harrison Weinberg founded the Surf Club to help both new and experienced surfers learn and improve their surfing skills, encourage each other on the waves, and watch fun clips from the World Surf League. 

Weinberg himself has been surfing since he was nine years old. After learning the basics in Hawaii, he went  to the beach almost every week in Puerto Rico—his motherland—and New York. During summer, he teaches surfing at Skudin Surf Camp. “I’m addicted to it,” Weinberg said. “I can’t stop.” 

A Trend Sweater-Aditi Pardeshi at the Club Fair
Photo reproduced by permission of Aditi Pardeshi

Biology Club

For more academically minded students, consider the Biology Club. Senior Mia Kim started the club with a simple goal in mind: to study with fellow USA Biology Olympiad (USABO) competitors and to help future competitors. She became an active member of USABO as a sophomore and achieved a semifinalist standing. “[Mia] wants to help students get ready for USABO,” advisor Dr. James Truglio said. “A lot of my students take that exam, so it will be beneficial for them to have a place to go with resources and preparation.” 

The Biology Club also helps students taking biology classes in school or the SAT II Biology test. They meet every Thursday after school in room 507. 

Chemistry Club

At the core of biology is chemistry. Although senior Kallista Zhuang enjoys all sciences, she likes chemistry in particular because it gives her a comprehensive view of the world. 

With the assistance of advisor. Carol Hersh, Zhuang started the Chemistry Club in order to help other people learn and explore the subject, as well as prepare them for the U.S. National Chemistry Olympiad (USNCO). Zhuang also plans on making a schedule for experiments to perform  later in the year, such as making ice cream, hand warmers, and other fun and interesting activities that integrate chemistry concepts  Zhuang herself competed in USNCO, becoming national finalist after passing the New York State exam score cutoff. With her experience, she and other potential teachers can help students at various levels. “I just want people to have a better understanding of what chemistry really is, and a greater appreciation for it, because it’s responsible for so much in our lives,” Kallista said. “It may be very detail-oriented, but it’s what makes us us.”  The club meets every other Tuesday in room 214.