By Samantha Krevolin
One of the many clubs at BHHS is the HYPE Club, which stands for Helping Young People Excel. This club is very special because it gives high school students opportunities to interact with and get to know people who have disabilities at special events throughout the school year. The club hosts four parties every year for local Westchester County organizations for people of all ages, including Westchester Community Services and ABBOTT House Organizations. These associations travel to the high school for the events and to spend time with the HYPE Club members. This club has played a major role in the high school for years, as it is continuously one of the most popular clubs available for students. The HYPE Club is an unforgettable experience for many students involved and they will remember it forever.
The events the HYPE Club hosts each year are such an amazing experience for both students and faculty. When the organizations arrive in the Upper Gym at the beginning of each event, the members of the organizations are surrounded by the fun activities they have been awaiting. These activities, including arts and crafts, basketball, and hula hoops, are often selected based on skill levels that are appropriate since some tasks are more difficult than others, as the organization members suffer from both mental and physical disabilities. The club members then go around the gym with members of the organizations in order to help them find what will be the most suitable and enjoyable activity for them. There is usually a game of musical chairs as well as awards given to every attendee at the event by students in HYPE. The events are claimed to be everyone’s favorite part of the HYPE Club because it is so valuable to see the smiling faces of those who are just happy to be at the high school. Hayley Siegle, a sophomore and member of the HYPE Club, spoke about her experience at the events. She claims that “being a part of HYPE has been so rewarding as nothing makes me happier than making someone else’s day.” She adds that she loves seeing the visitors so happy and excited at the events every time they arrive.
There are many leadership positions in the HYPE club held by both students and faculty members. For students, there are the positions of president, vice president, secretary, treasurer, advertising chair, activities chair, and refreshments chair. The students leading these positions during the 2017-2018 school year will be announced shortly; many current club members have submitted applications. In addition, both Mrs. Lewis and Mrs. Wilson are the faculty members in charge of the HYPE club. They are the club’s biggest supporters and encourage the students’ involvement and enthusiasm.
Members of the club are both boys and girls ranging from freshmen to seniors. The number of club members is limitless, as the club desires all the help and support they can receive towards those who unfortunately suffer from disabilities. To be a member of the club, one is responsible for attending the four parties every year, bringing in food for bake sales, and having a positive attitude around organization members who attend the events. The parties occur every semester and include a Halloween party, a winter holidays party, a Valentine’s Day party, and a summer party. The summer party happened in the beginning of May this year and was a very big success. Ben Kahn, sophomore, attended the summer party this year. He admits that “the party was a lot of fun and a great experience. It was the perfect way to end off the year.” Furthermore, Mrs. Lewis, head of the HYPE Club, claims that “the number of attendees has continuously grown from year to year.” Next year, the club hopes that incoming freshman will hear about HYPE at the club fair and join as other freshman have in the past. Additionally, current freshman, sophomores, and juniors can also join the club in the following 2017-2018 school year.