What's in Store for the the 2020-2021 Year of Civic Clubs?
The summer has finally come to an end and the various Pathway civic clubs are starting up again. While last year there were some forms of success found in civic clubs, this year, there are a lot more exciting things in store.
In previous years, the individual civic clubs were much more autonomous. They were mostly left to lead themselves, with the sole guideline of presenting on American Creed. There was no major unification of the civic clubs, and there was no shared curriculum. Eric Han, a club officer during the 2019 year described civic club to be an environment that invited debate. However a lack of opinions among members as well as unorganized meetings meant that civic club was not at the full potential it could be. There were also no limits on the number of officers, which caused some civic clubs to become disorganized. Overall, each club had its own direction, and there was no central leading group which directed them. However, everything is changing this year.
Firstly, near the end of summer of 2020, the civic club network of the Pathway Foundation has gone through a thorough rebranding. Last year, the clubs mostly operated on their own, and club leaders were given agency in branding, and curriculum. However this year, Pathway has decided to make the overall network more analogous. This is evidently shown through how each club renamed their social media handles to “[school].civicengagement” rather than choosing their own handle name. The civic club network is also operating more closely. The civic clubs have already collaborated on two webinars which happened in September, and were about Black Lives Matter and Ethnic Struggles. The civic clubs are also now required to create some sort of curriculum, and share it into a common folder for all the clubs. This ties the clubs more closely, and allows for the sharing of ideas between clubs. As Aaron Xie, a current club leader explains, “civics clubs this year have more structure, better leadership and freedom. There are more resources for us to utilize and connect as a network.”
Finally, it is important to keep in mind the reason Pathway has created the civic club network in the first place; to create a sense of interest in civic engagement in high schools around the Washington Area. Kevin Yang, one of the heads of the civic clubs network, affirms the goals for the 2021 year of the civic club network, as he acknowledges that, “with COVID-19 being such a prominent disruption in so many people’s lives, it’s important to continue having discussions on civic issues. Coupled with current social and political conflicts, civic clubs are the perfect opportunity for high schoolers to come together, educate themselves, and hopefully become forces for change.”
Pathway now has civic engagement clubs from all around the Puget Sound area, including International School, Bellevue High School, Lake Washington High School, Newport Highschool, Redmond High School, Interlake High School, and Lake Washington High School. Overall, the changes for the civic club network for the 2021 year seem to be positive, and the future of civic clubs is looking very bright.
Written by Megan Yi