New club brings ‘empowerment’ to female youth at Sunny Hills

Youth+Empower+Club+member+senior+Taylor+Michel+%28left%29+holds+up+one+of+the+signs+she+made+for+the+Jan.+18+Women%27s+March+in+downtown+Los+Angeles%2C+while+her+sister%2C+freshman+Jaden+Michel%2C+shows+one+of+the+placards+that+a+demonstrator+gave+her.+Image+posted+with+permission+from+Angelica+Mosqueda.

Youth Empower Club member senior Taylor Michel (left) holds up one of the signs she made for the Jan. 18 Women's March in downtown Los Angeles, while her sister, freshman Jaden Michel, shows one of the placards that a demonstrator gave her. Image posted with permission from Angelica Mosqueda.

Rida Fatima

They endorse women’s rights, encourage political marches and hope to promote the involvement of adolescents in the ever-changing world around them.

These are the members of the Youth Empower Club, which set up a registration booth in the quad for nationwide elections Sept. 27 along with a table in the quad for donating feminine hygiene products on Oct. 19.

In addition to the school-wide activities, the club frequently hosts sociocultural debates for its members.

“It’s very empowering to have an outlet to express my opinions and voice because it can be hard to express your ideas,” president senior Jessica Gonzalez said. “When you’re a teenager, people don’t take you seriously.”

Young activists’ opinions are not looked into because they are viewed as immature or unaware of how life works, senior vice president Bianco Bravo said.

“Youth have a responsibility to be more informed on topics like climate change, equal rights, gun issues and how they influence what our country is going to be like in the future,” Bravo said.

Another advocate for women’s rights club member freshman Jaden Michel said the club helped her build confidence and become more self-aware of the dangers around her.

“We have hope for the problems that each of us faces every day, [including] making people more comfortable in our own bodies,” Michel said.

By indulging in the club debates or actively participating in marches, students can increase their awareness of the issues around them with support from other organizations that the club works with.

The club is associated with the “Women’s March” organization, directed by Linda Sarsour, Tamika Mallory, Bob Bland and Carmen Perez who plan the group’s operations.

Although the advocacy group is based in Washington, D.C., they advise student-run clubs such as Sunny Hills’ own version. This provides a proper backbone to organize events.

Club members such as junior Samantha Alvarado said this group allows them to open up about changes they want to make in the world around the world.

“Having people to consult about my beliefs paves the way for me to [express] my opinion more confidently,” Alvarado said.

One of these debates discussed the controversial topic of gun control in light of the Oct. 24 campus-wide lockdown after police received a report of two men supposedly carrying “BB guns” or “long rifles” near Bastanchury.

“We need to educate the teachers and students more on how to properly respond to lockdown threats,” Gonzalez said.

Youth Empower Club meets Fridays during lunch in Room 180.