Elizabeth Rodriguez 

"S" Club Celebrates Achievements, Efforts


Last updated 6/18/2019 at 2:34pm

Jolene Nacapuy

In 1966, Soroptimist International of the Americas (SIA) established Sigma and S clubs, providing Soroptimists the opportunity to mentor college and high school age women and girls and to instill within them a desire for volunteerism.

Both high school girls and college women face unique gender bias, discrimination, and challenges as they grow up and enter the working world. Mentoring girls and women through the sponsorship of a S club, enables Soroptimists to impart invaluable support and guidance, while providing growth and leadership opportunities. Sigma Societies are formed for college women and S clubs are for high school age girls.

"S" Club is a service club for high school students in our community. It's considered helping Junior Soroptimists of Soroptimist clubs. "S" clubs are also a vital part of the high school extracurricular groups and are a great way for female high school students to learn about serving others and helping in the community. The "S" clubs focus on helping women and girls improve their lives through programs leading to social and economic empowerment.

On May 22, Borrego Springs High School "S" Club members celebrated their 2018 – 19 projects, fundraisers, and educational programing with invited honored guests and speakers.

This school year's S Club consisted of 11 seniors, seven juniors, five sophomores and 14 freshmen students. All S Club officers, President Keylly Lopez, Vice President Natalia Carmona, Secretary Ximena Torres and Treasurer Joselynn Troncoso were in attendance.

The banquet acknowledged, honored and celebrated the efforts and achievements of the 2018 –19 S Club.

S Club began the season by marching and representing their club in the Borrego Days Parade, and they fundraised to benefit the new San Diego County Library's Furniture, Fixtures and Equipment Fund sponsored by the Friends of the Library. The club raised $1,000.

Members Natalia Carmona, Joselynn Troncoso, Isabel Arteaga, Tateanna Berry, Vanessa Rodarte, Laurynn Strate, Viviana Hernandez, Gabriela Rocha, Ximena Torres, and Keylly Lopez were all thanked for their hard work, dedication and devotion in making a difference in our community by helping to raise the new library funds at the Borrego Days S Club booth.

S Club then selected the Borrego Springs Senior Center as their local charity, and the club organized to create pumpkin and succulent table centerpieces, later sold at the Thanksgiving luncheon.

In addition to the club's spirit of giving to those in their community less fortunate, Christmas Holiday gift bags were once again assembled and distributed to Mountain View Nursing Home residents here in the community.

With strong leadership and additional planning, Lopez initiated discussions to raise funds for their own high school library that was in need of new books and periodicals.

S Club collaborated with the American Legion Post #853 to plan a "Happy Holidays Pancake Breakfast" in December to raise $500 for the fund, and agreed to place any overage of funds to establish S Club's very first treasury, empowering club members to independently support their club's financial expenses now and into the future.

As a result of their hard work and efforts, they superseded their committed goal of $500, raising a total of $1,684. The American Legion said that no other service club had ever generated that amount. S Club 2018 – 19 set the record and a new standard. The club ended 2018 raising a total of $2,684 for charity and S Club's treasury.

"You are fundraising rock stars," Soroptimist Vice President Elizabeth Rodriguez proclaimed.

Bonnie Mendenhall, Soroptimist International District 3 Director and banquet keynote speaker, addressed the club's members. Mendenhall spoke of the importance of becoming a "critical thinker" in life and possessing the power to speak up at the "table of life."

Lopez and Carmona were acknowledged for helping sell raffle tickets at the Soroptimist "Hats Off" Women's Recognition Luncheon event at the de Anza County Club past February. They helped sell a total of $1,000 that was raised from the raffle component of the event. Both stood and were applauded.

In February, S Club attended a special presentation presented by Eduardo Escamilla, State Parks Ranger and Peace Officer. Escamilla educated club members about the vital importance of personal safety and self-defense readiness.

He informed them about the importance of having escape routes if ever they were to find themselves in compromised circumstances; he advised to carry pepper spray, told girls to yell out and ask for help, be aware, and stay away from "Party" colleges and overwhelming peer pressure.

S Club members had been asked earlier who they wanted to select as one of their banquet speakers. The club answered, and S Club member Angelica Garcia contacted Andrea Taylor, Borrego Springs Dream Club Director.

Taylor addressed the club about her personal journey growing into adulthood. She warmly conveyed her early awareness of her family's economic background, challenges dealing with bullying peers, and her perseverance to become the very best version of herself she wanted to become.

The club was reminded about the saying "you must gain control over your money or the lack of it will control you."

S Club members were tutored in money management by Soroptimists Gloria Gustine and Judy Stewart. Members were presented with valuable information and opportunities to open "Young Savers" accounts with our local Community Valley Bank.

Gustine and Stewart shared with members the "how to" to start planning for a secure and sound financial future by starting to manage a checking and savings account. They warned club members about getting oneself into credit card debt and to be aware of credit card company predators. Members learned how to manage and prepare themselves for a better financial future that makes a big difference in the quality of living for themselves, their families, and communities.

S Club members, have also been given the tools to help them build their education and job resumes that help students to seek out employment. Some members will begin working this summer, volunteering or engaging in internship programs. Summer job placement is a commitment to S Club members that want to begin working and Soroptimist will help them succeed in doing just that and living their dreams.

An announcement was made to members about Soroptimist International of Borrego Springs newly creating and establishing Special Educational Leadership Programs Fund.

The fund is available via application to fund up to $1,000 for eligible female students planning to attend educational summer exchange programs and other special programs not normally funded for students.

Soroptimist announced the first recipient to receive the fund is S Club and "Dream It, Be It" member Angelica Garcia. She will be traveling to France this summer as part of STEP (Short Term Exchange Program).

Members were told that funding is available for female students next semester and into the future with plans the funding amount will grow through time.

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