Shining STARS: Club impacts school community



     While in the midst of online school STARS club has been active and involved in the school community. STARS Club is a community of students who want to bring awareness to healthy habits. They focus on drug and alcohol use, but also mental health as well.

    STARS has been around for a while at North Harford and is sponsored by Mrs. Lori Rake, a Spanish teacher. The role of president and vice president are available in the STARS Club. These leadership roles are fulfilled by juniors Grant Maxa and Colin Smith respectively.

     The club has been consistent in creating video packages for each month. They have these videos featured in the morning announcements. Maxa says, “We meet at the end of each month to think of a new idea for the next month.” The club uses teams as they do in school. They have not had any in-person meetings due to restrictions and the need to be safe. 

    Maxa also mentions, “Not as many people show up that used to in school, but we have a solid group of new members and old that are contributing a lot.” Maxa has explained that his role is to help organize things and be a strong leader of the group along with Smith. 

     He states, “Mrs. Rake will always look to me and Colin to have some good ideas for the next month, I also keep track of who is doing what and try to help remind everyone of their duties.” Maxa always mentions how he believes this club is truly making a difference. 

     Maxa assures, “STARS club has been bringing some good light into the dark times. Our video packages really encourage students to stay healthy and smart.” Overall, Maxa is confident in the STARS club and its ability to help the community. 

     Junior Marissa Altenburg has been a STARS club member since she was in sixth grade. Altenburg says, “I enjoy being in STARS because it’s a club where you can be certain other people will share the same values as you.” Altenburg enjoys the message STARS sends to other students. She mentioned that she has been able to gain many kind friends from participating in STARS. 

      Altenburg states, “I hope STARS has made an impression on students but honestly I think the kids seeing our videos and posts are not the ones who need to hear it.” She believes the correct audience to reach is hard to get to. Altenburg wishes there was a different way to help reach out to those people. But, unfortunately with Covid-19, the club is limited to all online activities. 

       Smith was able to provide an idea of what a normal meeting for STARS would look like. Smith says, “Mrs. Rake will send out a meeting link at the end of each month for all the students to join the call.” Smith had mentioned that he and Maxa brainstorm as much as they can before the meeting so that the conversation and plans will be very organized. Smith also mentions, “We use the Teams meetings as a strong way to organize and brainstorm our next big project.” 

       Smith says how different it is from being in school. STARS did a lot of big posters and projects all around the school to show more students at once. But, Smith says, “I enjoy being in STARS… It’s been fulfilling and knowing that we try our best to keep students healthy is amazing.”