Photo credit: Leslie Sanchez
Many of us Eagle Rock High School students are a part of clubs and extracurriculars. From KeyClub to WISH, a lot of us end up as happy little members of these fun and interesting associations of students. Yet some of us who work hard enough and dedicate enough of ourselves to these clubs are able to become much more to these clubs. We go to meeting after meeting and help with project after project for our clubs, yet do we ever question who our leaders are? How do they do what they do? Why are they so very amazing? Being a club leader is a very serious matter that not many can handle and very few have a chance at. We asked a few of our favorite club leaders to hear their views on being them.
Gabriel Rodriguez, 17, Cancer, enjoys watching films while eating popcorn, and one of the three senior editors of ERHS’ very own Totem Yearbook. Totem creates the annual book of memories and photography as well as encapsulates the feeling of that year. “I have bought the yearbooks since 7th grade and I found out that I can join at club day my sophomore year,” says Gabriel, “And I’ve been a member ever since.” Gabriel’s favorite parts of Yearbook include the hilariously awesome people he gets to work with and the ability to express himself with the design of the book itself. He adores his members, in his own words “they are the sweetest and coolest people [he] knows.”
We all know that being a leader is a massive responsibility, especially being a graduating senior and a club leader. “I try to balance out my priorities in each class and see what's the fastest and easiest to get done and try to finish those before focusing on more difficult tasks,” Gabriel said when asked how he deals with stressful moments, “or I sleep it off and try to focus on other things and drink coffee.” Gabriel notes that being a leader is a lot of work and very time consuming, “at times it takes a lot of money too,” he adds, “but it’s worth it cause you see the end result and you’re truly amazed.” To all Yearbook members reading, your Senior Editor would like this writer to tell you “Where's your camera? BRING IT EVERYDAY!”
Manuel Laguna (aka Manny), 17, Pisces, spends his free time working out and vibing, and is leader of Homeless Support Club (HSC). This club assists the homeless by partaking in events such as clothing drives and dinners to make things a little less stressful for them. Manny actually started this club his junior year. “My favorite part is helping out in the dinners because you always see the struggles homelessness brings, but the enjoyment they receive from our events is amazing to witness first hand.” He owes most of the club’s success to his members. His members also help him when things get stressful.
As a senior who is both a club leader and in two sports teams, that happens quite often, but Manny recommends putting the responsibility of being a student first. “You have to be passionate and willing to do things on your own time,” Manny says,”I’ve been good with time management and that’s honestly the key to balancing responsibilities especially in school.” Manny doesn’t let his responsibilities get to him as he is always a relaxed, kind, funny person to be around that tries his best on any task given to him. “Thank you guys for everything. Without you guys this club wouldn’t have such a great start that it has. I hope I’ve been a great leader and love y’all <3,” Manny says to his members.
Elias Espinoza, 18, Aquarius, likes to work out and skateboard, and is the leader of the Senior Class Officers (SCO). SCO raises funds and sets up events for the entire senior class, as well as assists the class in building a better bond. Elias has been a part of Class Officers for three years. He heard about the club through his friends freshman year but didn’t sign up because he didn’t really want to do it. Once sophomore year came around though, he felt like he had a lot of free time that he wanted to fill, so he joined. “My favorite part about it is seeing work get done because you can see how much progress you’ve built throughout the year,” Elias says, “you’ve got to have thick skin though because you get a lot of complaints. But make sure you have fun and make sure everyone is doing their part and communicating with each other.”
Elias is not only in charge of the club, but also the entire class of 2020, which seems like a large amount of stress. When asked about how he deals with stress Elias said he usually steps back, takes a breath, and sees what’s going on and asks for advice from the senior’s sponsors. “I try to balance my responsibilities by setting aside time for SCO and for school work to stay on top of my grades,” Elias adds when asked about his time management. He has a ton of meetings which means no lunch time for Mr. President, but luckily a majority of his friends are in SCO and attend senior bonding events so he doesn’t have to sacrifice a massive part of his social life. Elias ends the interview with, “I have some pretty solid members, who for the most part always do their jobs and when everyone does their job everything runs so smoothly. I love my members! Thank you guys!”
These three amazing seniors are doing their part to make Eagle Rock a more fun and interesting school with their amazing clubs. You never hear about their struggles as they always tend to deal with them on their own time to avoid dragging down their beloved members, which is a strong thing to do all in itself. As students, graduates, and kids they have a lot of responsibilities, but they still try their hardest to be there for their members. These people are not only club leaders, they are future world leaders and this writer is excited to see where they go next.