By: Kaylee Fogelsonger (12)
WALC like the verb? Nope, WALC stands for Women’s Athletic And Leadership Club. It’s a club at GHS, that many female bulldogs don’t know about. The club was created to bring more recognition to girls sports and more support to girls in our community. However, WALC has evolved incredibly over these past three years. WALC started out as Women’s Varsity Leadership Club in the 2011-12 school year with Ms Mattice and past counselor Mrs. Brown as the advisers. Then in 2017, teacher Mrs. Peterson and Mental Health Coordinator Ms. Koza took over the club. The whole idea behind revamping the club was to increase the recognition girls sports was getting at the time. It was changed first to Women’s Athletic Leadership Club to open it up to non-varsity athletes than this year it was changed to Women’s Athletic And Leadership Club to include even more girls that wanted to join, but were not involved in a sport.
In the past, WALC has solely coordinated feminine hygiene product drives to build a supply that provides free products to girls in our school and community that may not have access to them. The club used to just house them in classrooms but soon found a more private way to disperse the products by hanging buckets in the girls bathrooms that hold the products.
The club is introducing several new ideas and activities in the new school year. Some service projects include a makeup bag collection drive to help store feminine hygiene products for use in school and the community. Another project is teamed up with the Green Team and an organization called Wands for Wildlife which collects old makeup wands and uses them to help clean animals who may have been affected by oil spills or fly eggs stuck in their fur/feathers. Body image is a large focus on the agenda. Ms Koza says, “We love to see females at GHS be confident and comfortable in their own skin. It’s cheesy, but we take care of each other: WALC is a safe and welcoming place to all kick-butt females and strong leaders.” Positive body image is quite often a struggle for many teenage girls, which is why the club is taking the issue head on. “There is no wrong way to have a body,” Mrs. Peterson adds.
The club meets once a month, typically on the third Friday at 7:15am in Project Room 290. Monthly meetings include projects, mini-lessons, leadership updates and service projects. The 2019-20 Co President Milekya Ballard explains, “I joined because I thought it would be a good way to support other females and go to more events at GHS.” Over 100 girls attend the meetings and are a part of the growing club. “People are busy, it’s hard to commit to several clubs and since it was mostly targeted towards athletes, we opened it up to all female leaders now,” explains Ms Koza.