Exciting Clubs You Can Join at Venice


Julissa Ventureno

Japanese Club officers pose for a picture.

Dance Team
Tyree Davis

For those who are interested in showing their Gondo pride, the Venice High Dance Team shows its school spirit at sport events like football games and basketball games.

For tryouts, Coach Valeria Alvarez said she values “dedication in how many times they showed for clinics, personality in the way they dance including facials and how the movements are executed.” The number of girls Coach Alvarez looks for is between 20 to 25. Coach Alvarez has been a dance coach at Venice High for five years since she graduated from Venice in June 2012.

Leahnora Castillo, a senior, is the captain of the school’s Dance Team/Club and has been for two years.
“There’s a lot of talent in the girls, so I enjoy working together with all the members while watching them grow,” said Castillo. “We have all have a special bond. That’s why it’s so much fun.”
The team has practice on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays on the Junior Lawn after school.

Melina Torres

M.E.S.A. is a national club for middle and high school students that has been around since the 1970s. M.E.S.A. stands for Math, Engineering, Science Achievement.

The sponsor, Mr. Donald Holland, wants to help give traditionally underprivileged students the tools for a successful and happy life. ¨It’s frustrating to teach, but it makes me happy,¨ said Mr. Holland.
M.E.S.A. members participate in unique challenges like dropping an egg from a certain height. They also join in competitions against others school at U.S.C. Every year the club has a retreat to Catalina Island that is inclusive to all members.

Kaitlyn Reyes, a junior who came to M.E.S.A. during her freshmen year, said ¨I like this club because it really brings me out of my comfort zone and challenges me.” Reyes said M.E.S.A. would look good on a college application.

The club teaches kids to be critical thinkers, team problem solvers and leaders. The club also prepares students for future challenges in life and gives a sense of community, said Mr. Holland.
Students are not allowed to have D´s or F´s and must fill out an application with a parent signature.
If you want to join the club, you must hurry. The maximum capacity for the club is 40 members. They meet on Tuesdays during lunch in Shop-2.

Drama Club
Ella Kennedy

The Drama Club is a creative and artistic outlet for students who enjoy performing arts, and the members have big plans this year!

The president of the Drama Club, Jaden Corona, has big dreams of becoming an actress.
“I was a really shy and not expressive, and I wanted an outlet to show how much I love acting,” said Corona. She believes it’s important to have performing arts programs in public schools, because students should be able to find their voice and individuality even if it’s not through athletic programs.

Being a part of the Drama Club and having Ms. Thrasher as a mentor, has given Corona direction in life and opportunities beyond the classroom. Acting makes Corona feel “Like I am free, and I can be who I’m meant to be,” and she hopes other students join too.

While the members of Drama Club have helped each other to be more expressive and creative, they have plans to be more involved with other clubs this year, while still partaking in other school activities such as Grease Night, pep rallies and putting on plays. The next play the Drama club is producing is, “Happily Ever Once Upon,” a story about Cinderella and Prince Charming 20 years after their Happily Ever After. The members urge students interested in acting to audition and be a part of it as well.

Join the Drama Club in room 14 on Thursdays at lunch and find your voice!

Science Bowl
Desmond Andersen

Adrenaline rush. Insatiable curiosity. The drive to constantly push one’s limits. This is the nature of Science Bowl.

More of a close-knit team than a mere lunch club, the members of Science Bowl train hard so they can play hard.

Each February, teams across the country face off at regional competitions hosted by the U.S. Department of Energy. In intense rounds of buzzer slapping and on-the-clock mental calculations, teams compete to make it to the national tournament.

The basic concept is simple: a question is announced and the first team to answer correctly gets points. As the competition progresses, teams are eliminated and the difficulty of questions increases.
Although Venice High hasn’t made it to nationals since the 90s, captain Jenny Chen, a junior, claims winning is not the primary objective. “[Our goal is] to maximize our potential. To do the best that we absolutely can. To push our bounds,” she explains. “The nature of this competition… it’s a chance to challenge yourself. People will make the most of the opportunity.”

There are six subjects which members can choose to focus in: physics, biology, chemistry, energy, astronomy, geoscience and math. Sometimes these subjects overlap with members’ class curriculum, but often they delve deeper than the scope of an average high school science class.

Chen is an especially avid learner. “Whenever I have free time I kind of sit down and start pouring over textbook,” she says. “When it’s not taken over by sports and homework, I devote hours of the weekend to that.”

However, a large appetite for learning seems to a common thread among most members of the club.
“Honestly it sounds a bit odd, but I study just for fun,” admits senior Maksym Shchepetkin. “A lot of the time I’m on Wikipedia bingeing stuff.”

Chen says the team is looking for prospective members who are both diligent and willing to push themselves. Those who are interested are welcome to talk Mr. Daren Kitajima, the club sponsor. Meetings take place at lunch on Monday, Thursday and Friday in room 235.

Class of 2019
Nevan Campos

Class of 2019 focuses on raising money through fundraisers for the future activities of Venice High’s juniors. In each club session, they try to come up with different ideas for new fundraisers and how to get more donations, since each class has to fundraise their own events.

In the past, Class of 2019 has had fundraisers at Chipotle and Blaze Pizza. Participants voice their opinions, reach out to the community, and provide outreach for the whole class.

¨We’re working together to make the most,¨ said Ms. White. ¨I would like to see some more class spirit … You guys are together for four years of the way and you should be excited about it!¨

The biggest event for any class is senior prom, which takes about two years to plan. It takes the whole class’ effort to have a great event.

¨The longer you take to get organized, the less organized prom will be, but that does not mean it’ll be any less fun!¨ said Ms. White.

Aidan Yoo, the Class of 2019’s president, said the club’s main goal is to raise enough money to have an awesome senior prom and grad night. Class of 2019 meets Wednesdays at lunch in room 223 with Ms. White.

Wildlife Defenders
Leslie Grijalva

Did you know that there are over 16,000 animals that are endangered and on the verge of extinction? Do you want to help these endangered animals who are affected by global warming and pollution? If so, Wildlife Defenders is for you.

Wildlife Defenders, a club among many at Venice High School, is a club that is dedicated to helping endangered animals.

“There’s a lot of endangered species, and they need a voice from students. It’s also a high interest subject,” said Mr. Jesse Rabinowitz.

Wildlife Defenders is also a student-run club that does fundraising and also adopts animals. In the springtime. The Wildlife Defenders plan to take a field trip to the Santa Monica Mountains.

The Wildlife Defenders meet every Wednesday at lunch in room 246. Everyone can join. It’s a club for people who love animals and who want to help wildlife.

Gay Straight Alliance
Sonia Curiel

Once you walk into the Gay Straight Alliance Club, you are walking into a nice and accepting place. Many people of different sexualities and genders are members.

At a recent meeting, Mr. Christobal Aguilar Vicente started welcoming people and asked them to introduce themselves and what preferred pronouns they would like to go by such as he, she or they. It was off to a slow, comfortable start.

The gender neutral bathroom in the school is an important topic for the club, as they freely expressed their comments and concerns. One club member said, ”I think it’s fine. I mean people have to stop judging. If they got to pee, let them pee.”

People are free to talk about anything. Many different people have joined and are able to freely share their stories and ideas. So much could be learned in this club.

The Gay Straight Alliance club meets Tuesdays during lunch in Mr. Vicente’s room, room 204.

Library Club
Leslie Silva

If you love books and helping out, this club is made for you! The Library Club meets every Monday at lunch in the library and is sponsored by Ms. Caroline Gill.

The club is about helping anyone who needs assistance in the library. Library Club also has events at Barnes & Noble and students can get community service hours by participating in these events.

When you become a member, you must attend two events to get a sweater at the end of the year.

“The club is open to anyone who is interested in joining,” said the president Tiffany Lavelle. To join, you just have to show up and sign in.

Anime Club
Sarah Rudolph

The sponsor of the Anime Club is Ms. Janet Morgan. The Anime Club is for students who enjoy watching and talking about anime.

The Anime Club is open to everyone and there are free snacks provided. The club’s Vice President is Ryan Neal.

Ms. Morgan’s purpose for starting this club is for students to socialize and enjoy anime. “I just noticed most of my students like anime, so I started this club,” said Ms. Morgan. Club meetings are held every Friday at lunch in room 240.

Choir Club
Guadalupe Aquino

One of the many clubs at Venice is the Choir Club, best known as the “Allegros”. Music teacher Wendy Sarnoff is the leader behind this club.

This club focuses on singing and performing and allows students to improve their singing skills. In addition to singing, this club provides many benefits and opportunities for students.

Some of the benefits include developing music skills and working with Creative Artists Talent Agency. Music agent Brian Louks talks to the club, “so if you want to jumpstart your career, yeah be in music,¨ said Ms. Sarnoff.
In addition to all these music-related opportunities, the club also helps a lot with community service hours.

¨We go and perform for the community which gains us major community service hours.” club member, Tatiana Chavez says.

¨Choir has definitely made me a better version of myself. It has taught me to be more confident and be okay in front of a crowd,¨ said Chavez.

Choir meets Mondays at lunch in Shop 7 and is open to anybody.

¨I don’t care if you can’t sing, that’s what I’m here for¨, said Ms. Sarnoff. If you’re into music you should definitely join Choir Club.

ACE Mentor Program
Alejandro Sanchez

Mr. Brent Rojo is starting up a new club here at Venice High School named ACE Mentor
Program. “A” stands for architecture, “C” stands for construction and “E” stands for engineering. Mr. Rojo is sponsoring ACE instead of Robotics this year.

ACE is a program for students who want to pursue a career in architecture, construction
or engineering. Any student from any academy can join. Meetings will be held in Shop 2 from
3:15 to 5:15 p.m. on Wednesdays.

People who want to be part of these professions need portfolios to get into a college that
teaches that career. This club could help you start building a portfolio and also start exposing
you to what people of these professions really do. Students will see what a professional job in
these fields would entail.

This club is a team and will compete with other schools to develop an architecture design
which will then become part of a real building. Last year, the team that won made a design for the
student facility for the new building at USC.

Any student interested or with any questions should talk to either Mr. Rojo or Mr. Daren
Kitajima or could also attend one of the meetings on Wednesdays after school.

Just Keep Livin
Aaliyah Apilado

Julissa Ventureno
Actor Matthew McConaughey and his wife Camila Alves started the foundation Just Keep Livin. This foundation is dedicated to bring together high school students to be active and have better eating habits.

The club engages students by teaching them about their eating habits and focusing on their future. Just Keep Livin is a great club for those who don’t want to join a sport because they can always go to this club and engage in activities such as basketball, track, dodgeball and working out on the equipment in the East Gym.

The club meets after school in the East Gym on Mondays and Wednesdays.

There are four foundations in the Dallas area, three in Austin, nine programs in Southern California, three in New Orleans and three in Washington D.C. Just Keep Livin has been running for 10 years.

Japanese Club
Ariel Reyes

Japanese Club president Alissa Oaada and vice president Olivia Mariano met for the first time this school year in the East Building to lead a discussion on what would happen, as the club heavily involves themselves in school events such as the Club Expo and also fundraising for Back-to-School night.

When the club is not involved in school activities, they talk about Japan’s culture and what is currently going on there.

The club is considered to be educational by those who attend, but they also learn about Japan’s pop culture and occasionally eat food from there as well.

Vice President Mariano says, “It’s a free fun place to hang out with friends and learn about Japan. You get to meet new people with similar interests.”

The club meets every Tuesday at lunch in room 107 in the East Building and is supervised by Ms. Hiroko Nomachi.

Students Run LA (SRLA)
Julissa Ventureno

Twenty-five Venice High School students ran the 2017 LA Marathon last semester. Their feet slammed against the cement and beads of sweat were rolling down their face. Their whole body felt like it would collapse at any second. Once they caught a glimpse of the finish line, they suddenly got a surge of adrenaline and sprinted towards their victory. Who are these crazy, awesome students that finished the 26.2 mile LA Marathon? They are members of the Students Run LA club at Venice.

Students Run LA is a club meant to help students train for the LA Marathon. SRLA first appeared in Venice High School around 1989. It started out with a couple teachers who wanted to get their students to run more. The first club had less than 10 students.

“The goal of SRLA is completion over competition. I want the students to set several goals and accomplish them,” said the Students Run LA leader, Michael Smith.

Not only does Students Run LA help students train for the LA Marathon, it also helps students stay active, relieve stress and make friends.

Elizabeth Wong, a former SRLA member, hated running before she joined SRLA. Now, she loves it!
“At first, I didn’t make the team,” Wong states, “but the second time I joined SRLA I got in the team and I ran the LA Marathon!”

Any Venice High School student is eligible to join Students Run LA. All you need is your legs, some motivation, a physical and a signed permission packet which you can get from Mr.Smith in room 112. The deadline to turn in paperwork is the beginning of October.

If you don’t make the team, you can still train with SRLA. Practices start in room 8 every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday from 3:30pm-5pm.

Black Student Union
Kylon Wade

BSU is a club where African Americans come together during lunch and talk about important issues going on in today’s world and how African American history has impacted the youth of today. They meet during lunch in room 14 on Thursdays.

The sponsor of this club is Mrs. Traci Thrasher who is also a Venice High School English teacher and Drama teacher.

“The Black Student Union is about building relationships among other Venice High students helping African Americans achieve economically and educationally supporting them in and out of school,” said Mrs.Thrasher.

The student president is Shara Wade and vice president is Heaven King, both proud BSU leaders who represent the club.

“BSU is about coming together as a community from people of color and discussing how people can be safe in their own enviornment,“ said Rylee Happy.
“The community is growing with African Americans and making sure that people are connected through their culture and coming together to make an impact,” said Wade.

”We talk about anything that’s going on in the modern world that has to do with important topics and to achieve black liberation,” said King.

Overall this club speaks out to young adults that might want to join BSU and receives help from the community. Join BSU and discuss important topics and grow together as a family.

Marching Band
Rebecca Halfacre

Marching Band has continuously grown and improved since the addition of Mr. David Lee as the Band director four years ago.

Being a member of the Marching Band requires advanced musical skill and hours of practice.

“I would even go as far to call it a sport, rather than a competitive event, given the amount of time and energy put in, and the sheer amount of coordination and ability” said Lee.

The Marching Band performs at many different events all year long including football and basketball games, concerts and festivals, graduation, summer gigs and band camp.

“It’s exhilarating, but at the same time one of the most intimidating experiences.” said Robert Villegas, a junior who plays snare drum. “But we’ve been practicing since summer, and all season, and with the support of your peers on the field, you overcome this hurdle and leave everything on the field.

Since it is Advanced Band, it is highly recommended that students have previous background in playing an instrument, however non-experienced students are welcome to join second semester for color guard and drumline. If you have advanced skills and would like to join, see Mr. Lee in room 3 as soon as possible and he will add you to the seventh period. Members will receive performing arts credit, as well as P.E. credit.

Marching Band rehearses Monday, Wednesday, and Thursday in room three until five pm.

Interact Club
Alicia Valenciana

Interact Club, one of the many clubs at Venice High School, has provided students with a vast amount of opportunities to engage themselves in their community and help others.

“Our club lets students here participate in community events and as a plus, gives them community service hours,” says Anna Lo, the president of Interact Club.

Venice High students have a great opportunity to go out, interact with members of the club and members of the community, as well as broaden their experiences by doing good deeds.

“Usually during meetings, we discuss which events we can volunteer at, how we can fundraise and how we can reach out to students to further make a positive influence on them and on our community,” said Lo.

Interact Club is constantly looking for events such as feeding the homeless, marathons, festivals, etc., to volunteer at and provide people with help.

Interact Club is a great club to participate in as it offers students the chance to discover more about their community, as well as themselves.

The Interact Club has its weekly meetings in room 36 during lunch on Thursdays.

Chess Club
Mya Gates

Venice High School has a history with chess clubs and is still continuing its legacy today.
If you don’t know how to play chess, it’s a free-for-all club. This means you don’t need any experience with chess to join. There aren’t any outside competitions either, so there is absolutely no pressure on yourself to be the best chess player in the world.
“Anyone can join, it’s a community activity,” said Ms. April White, the sponsor for Chess Club.
Chess Club is a fun, communal activity that meets on Fridays at lunch in Ms. White’s room (223).

Knights and Ladies
Yume Kamal

Knights and Ladies is one of the older clubs on the Venice High campus. It takes place every nutrition on Tuesdays in room 122. This club serves as a senior service club. Anyone who is a part of it is expected to volunteer wherever needed. Members are engaged with all types of activities for the campus. It’s one of the best ways to get involved with the school and take action on the change Venice needs, if you’re a senior.
This club is a little different from the rest, not everyone is able to just show up and be accepted into the club. You have to be an incoming senior to be accepted. Fill out an application at the end of junior year. Prospective members also must have a certain grade point average, as well as a teacher recommendation.
“It’s not as difficult as it seems,” treasurer of the club Delayna Armelin explains. “It’s also a great club, you meet new people and do good for the school at the same time.”

Adamarys Abad

Being in leadership gives students the opportunity to make Venice High a fun school. Leadership is in charge of pep rallies, homecoming dance and spirit week.
Leadership starts off the year with a new advisor, Ms. Luisa Eames, who has experience in yearbook, but is new to Leadership.
“I was excited to have the opportunity to serve as ASB Leadership advisor because as a new teacher, it allows me to get to know the students and school better,” said Ms. Eames.
Senior Jessica Hernandez says she is excited to take a lead and be more involved at school. She is determined to make the changes that are needed at Venice High.
Students interested in Leadership need to be in the fifth period class. People who are interested should talk to Ms.Eames in room 130.

Adamarys Abad

Oakgrove Club, inspired by the Watts Riots that occurred in 1965, is the perfect club for people who want to express their feelings about certain topics.
Sponsor Mrs. Hazel Witham explains that the club started as a safe place to release racial tension students had. The club used to be only for members going to the retreat then became a place for students to express their feelings on a variety of topics such as jealousy, family and friendship.
Student Olympia Muccio says her favorite part about the club is being able to express herself and feel refreshed for the week.
If anyone is interested in joining, Oakgrove Club meets every Tuesday in room 152.

Drama Club
Emily Salazar

Venice High’s Drama Club is a fun, outgoing group that welcomes all newcomers interested in being part of what the members refer to as their family.
Despite the amount of commitment and dedication needed, Drama Club is an exciting way to experience what it is like to perform in front of a crowd and collaborate with new people. The Drama Club puts on a play and a musical during the school year.
Drama Club isn’t only for those who are outgoing, but is also a place that teaches its members how to get out of their shell.
“Acting has made me open up, I used to be very shy and timid. Now I am super outgoing and expressive, and it really helped me,” club president Jaden Corona said.
For those interested, Drama Club meets every day after school until 4:30 p.m. in room 14. “If you want to come and join theatre, come because the work environment is amazing. Everyone helps out with everyone, We’re a close knit family,” said by social advisor, Shara Wade.