SELFless Acts from Reinvented Club

Alison Kuznitz
EE Senior Opinions Editor

The new and improved SELF club has definitely made a lasting impression on the THS student body during the course of this school year. The club ambitiously started the year with a totally new mission in mind. Instead of focusing on eating disorder awareness and body image, members wanted to branch out further and “explore other things that contribute to happiness,” says co-advisor Mrs. DeNunzio. They chose to place emphasis on one’s inner self, as proudly boasted in their slogan: “Be yourSELF, Love yourSELF.” Thus, the formerly known HIPS was transformed into SELF. This acronym stands for the motivating message of “spirit empowerment love fulfillment.”

“The goal is really what the club stands for. It’s to promote a better sense of self awareness. We want to spread a happy message about being comfortable with who you are,” states Mrs. DeNunzio.

SELF is a unique club because it strives to have teenagers love, respect, and appreciate themselves. At meetings, the atmosphere is always tolerant, open, and accepting. Members are free to speak their mind without fear of being misunderstood or made fun of. This is crucial in today’s society when teenagers experience significant pressure from the media, peers, and various other sources.

According to co-advisor Mrs. Papageorge, “It’s a great place for people to positive, and hopefully be supportive…It’s supposed to make you live your best life.”

To coincide with their revamped goals, SELF has hosted a myriad of events. For instance, SELF Week, which occurred from April 8 through April 12, was a major highlight for the club. Both advisors were extremely proud of the week since the club was able to spread their invigorating message around the school. The “Free Compliments” largely popularized the festivities and helped students get the feel of what SELF club has to offer. Students were encouraged to take a compliment that were available in every classroom and pass it onto a friend throughout the week.

SELF Week started off with SELFless Day, which was designed for students to do a random act of kindness. In the middle of the week, club members took pictures of students in the commons during the lunch waves. There was a slight twist to the pictures, though, since students were photographed with their faces covered by a whiteboard. On the whiteboards, students had written personality traits, which they loved, about themselves. This stressed the importance of one’s inner self. The final day of SELF week was the most memorable due to its bold theme. Besides the sale of “Sweet Notes of Kindness,” Friday was also proclaimed Inside-Out-Day and Makeup Free Day. Students bravely enhanced the vital message that inner beauty is really what matters once again.

SELF club has dedicated much effort to promoting and publicizing their evolving goals. In addition to SELF Week, the club celebrated Valentine’s Day in an empowering fashion. As opposed to the typical way of celebrating the holiday in which people express their love for others, SELF turned the table and asked students to be introspective. On giant posters hanging in the commons that spelled out “SELF,” students had the opportunity to answer the question: What do you love about yourself?

Not to mention, SELF has been very philanthropic as well. The club generated enough funds to purchase a bicycle for a young girl during the winter holidays. “I loved that we got to buy a bike,” comments Mrs. Papageorge. Additionally, they held a clothing drive.

SELF club has proven this year that they are intensely committed to their admirable cause, and are constantly adjusting to fit the needs of students. For the future of their club, they hope to increase membership, particularly among males. Overall, they aspire to make THS a better place. As Mrs. Papageorge further remarks, “I just hope to do more…baby steps…We just want to more accessible to more people.”

Without a doubt, SELF club has made impressive progress in spreading their ideals and goals. In the next school year, hopefully the club will only add to its extensive success and continue promoting inspiring messages.

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