Olympic Heights Students Speak up for Kids Club seeks to advocate for and assist voiceless foster care kids in distress

Olympic Heights Students Speak up for Kids Club seeks to advocate for and assist voiceless foster care kids in distress

Each year, nearly one million children are abused or neglected in the foster care system – this being only a fraction of which is reported. In order to make a change, Students Speak Up for Kids, a student-led, project-based advocacy, has been introduced to Olympic Heights.

Like many clubs on campus, Students Speak Up for Kids strives to create a healthy and safe environment for students involved. To provide members with the greatest opportunities, this organization, as a whole, is working towards making a change in the foster care system. Club President, Ben Zapson, commented, “I hope that Students Speaks Up for Kids will bring students at Olympic Heights closer to foster children, and inspire them to continue working with them even once they leave Olympic Heights.”

In bringing this club to OH, students have the opportunity to help children in the foster care system who deal with various forms of abuse, neglect, violence, and crime. Students who are members of this club can participate in many individual and group-based projects that help to improve the well-being of kids put into these difficult circumstances.

While starting a club may be difficult, Students Speak Up for Kids is utilizing a variety of methods to gain members throughout the school. According to Vice President, Julia Zapson, “So far we have been using social media platforms such as Instagram. We hope to expand our club through club rush, and other social platforms.” Though beginning a club has its battles, the OH chapter, partnering with other schools in the county, can work towards making a difference. 

With many students interested in joining this club, students are taking action in hopes of making it a productive and well-respected club here on campus. “I hope that by joining this club I can educate my peers on the kids out there who have been harmed, and left without anywhere to go,” OH sophomore Roshni Padala said when explaining why she hopes to become a part of this club. Not only does the club provide the necessary support to foster kids in need, but it allows students to work towards improving the overall lives of these kids. 

“In this club, students will learn about the foster care system and what life looks like for foster children in Palm Beach County,” the club adviser OH social studies teacher Mrs. Chelsea Fink explained. “The club adviser, OH social studies teacher Mrs. Chelsea Fink explained, They will brainstorm ideas, fundraise, raise awareness, and volunteer at events to help support the foster care community.”

Using the resources the club has been provided with, members can make use of many different opportunities to help kids in the foster care system who struggle each day. “With the help of the school, we believe our club can help to make change for kids in foster care,” Julia Zapson shared. “Since it is part of a greater, overall organization, we will be able to collaborate with other schools around Palm Beach County to make a collective and substantial impact.” In doing so, this can help to bring recognition to the lesser known aspects of foster care.

In this club’s inaugural year, making a difference is the main goal. “I am excited to take an active role in supporting students in this club and really make an impact in our community and a difference in the lives of foster students,” Fink commented.