Looking for Extracurriculars? Join the Club!

maya linville, Club Contributor

Period Pals

When: Wednesdays during lunch, Ms. McGuire’s room (134D)

Contact: [email protected]

During the summer of 2020, with the pandemic in full swing, two LASA seniors helped create the Period Pals organization to address period poverty in Austin. The club aims to provide period products to any person who needs them and to use advocacy to help make period supplies cheaper for everyone.  

These seniors, Jane Fulton and Naiya Vasquez-Castañeda, who helped create Period Pals, recognized the serious issue of period poverty in Texas and wanted to make a difference in the community through service work.

“Naiya and I sat down together, and we were like, ‘What is an issue that we want to tackle?’” Fulton said. “And we felt that period poverty was an important one, especially during the pandemic, because a lot of people were losing their jobs, or they couldn’t afford period products. So we thought we would start Period Pals to help provide products to menstruating individuals who couldn’t afford them.” 

One of the most important ways the organization helps with period poverty is by organizing packing parties. The club finds volunteers from schools all over Austin and will gather to put together their donations.

“Basically, we just get a whole bunch of people together, and we get these little goodie bags filled with pads, tampons, panty liners, and then we usually do some toiletries,” Vasquez-Castañeda said.

Sometimes the volunteers and members will hand out the packed bags filled with the period supplies and donations. Most often though, Fulton or Vasquez-Castañeda will drive and donate the period’s supplies and products to different organizations around Austin. 

“If we have a big packing party and we make 250 goodie bags, we’ll say, ‘If you have a car and you’re willing, take this here,’ or, ‘If you see someone on the street that you think would benefit from having this, give it to them,’” Vasquez-Castañeda said. “It’s [usually] just either me and Jane dropping them off somewhere, especially if we’re doing bulk donations, like these huge boxes with thousands of products.”

According to Fulton and Vasquez-Castañeda, the organizations that Period Pals primarily donates to are Out Youth, Foundation for the Homeless, Safe Austin, and Casa Marianella. They said Period Pals distributes its donations to a variety of organizations in the hopes of reaching a wide range of people.

“We just want to make sure everybody has access to period products,” Vasquez-Castañeda said.

“And I guess, in years previous, a lot of the focus has been on giving women period products, but we really want to kind of change that message and make sure that everyone with a uterus, not just women, have access to those products. And I think inclusivity is something that we’re really striving towards.” 


A Capella Club

When: Mondays and Thursdays during lunch, Mr. Lewis’s room (the choir room)

Contact: (737)203-7537

A Capella Club is a student-led singing group that emphasizes the importance of creativity, community, and leadership. Unlike choir, a cappella music is singing without the use of instrumental accompaniment, and every Monday and Thursday, the club meets at lunch to work on new musical arrangements together.

According to senior and club officer Ella Williams, A Capella Club is a friendly and creative environment for all members to contribute. Although the club sings music that is already written, the members work together to add their own original spin to each piece they work on.

“The officers and the students together decide what song to arrange, and the officers sort of write the sheet music ourselves,” Williams said. “So everything that we produce is our original work, and sometimes we’ll even build arrangements as a club as we’re learning it, which is something that’s really unique to us.” 

Right now, the club is working on a new song called “Babe” by Taylor Swift. Officer and senior Chloe Lein explained that to help everyone learn the song, she transcribed the chords into a capella vowels and put them onto sheet music paper using an online program called Noteflight. Both Lein and Williams hope to teach the younger members of the club how to use noteflight and other a cappella resources so that they can continue the club in the future.

“We give them all of our music that we already have that they can take on and teach again if they want to redo those pieces, or we also teach them how to make their own music so that they can drive whatever way,” Lein said.

Freshman Ruby Venkatesh is one of these new members. Venkatesh said that a cappella club gave her the perfect opportunity to jump back into singing with a group of people after the pandemic.

“I joined A Capella Club because I was enjoying choir class and singing with people, and I honestly had missed getting to harmonize with people because I didn’t get to do that a lot over the pandemic,” Venkatesh said. “I thought joining an a capella group would be a perfect way to get back into the music world with singing and making beautiful harmonies.”

Venkatesh really appreciates the club because it introduces her to new genres of music and helps improve her knowledge and skills in singing. She said the club is also a great opportunity to find a community and make friends in a welcoming atmosphere. 

“It’s fun that before we sing, we eat lunch together,” Venkatesh said. “So we get to talk and learn about what’s going on in each other’s classes, and we’re in a lot of different grades, so I get to learn from seniors and juniors about what’s going on in their lives. So it’s fun to get to know the people who you’re singing with.” 

The A Capella Club performing at the winter choir performance. Photo courtesy of Ruby Venkatesh. 


Stitch Service

When: Thursdays during lunch, Ms. Lee’s room (108)

Contact: [email protected]

The Sitch Service is a student-run knitting and crocheting club that was created as a space for students to crochet and knit in a relaxing, de-stressing, and friendly environment. The club offers knitting and crocheting lessons, and will hold drives to donate many of the projects they knit and crochet to various charities around America.

“Currently, we’re working with two big [organizations], which are Soldiers’ Angels and then Mitzvah,” Murphy said. “But we’ve also done, last year, a really big drive with Warm Up America where we made big squares, or rectangles, basically nine by seven. And then we donated them, and they made them into really big Afghans and then distributed them across America.” 

According to club leader and senior Megan Marostica, the club made and collected over 500 squares for the Warm Up America drive last year, and they’re excited to continue donating projects this year. The club provides knitting and crocheting supplies to its members and also has video tutorials and books available for beginners.

“If there’s someone who needs supplies or some assistance, they can come to us during the meetings and we’ll help them,” Murphy said. “Occasionally we have a PowerPoint presentation, but overall, I feel like it’s not extremely structured because we’re there if you need us, but also if you just want to come and crochet with us we’re totally open to that.” 

Students are eligible to receive NHS hours for the projects and donations they make during the Stitch Service drives. The club also makes sure to recognize the members’ skill levels, as well as the dedication that goes behind their projects, according to Murphy.

“We try to accommodate, so it’s not one hat is six hours all the time,” Murphy said. “If you’re newer, a hat might take you 14 hours, and we understand that, so we’ll give you those hours because it’s about the time that you put in. It’s still time, even if you have to restart or redo something.” 

French teacher Lily Lee is the sponsor of the club and an avid knitter herself. Lee said she believes that knitting and crocheting can be great activities for relaxation. 

“They’re both excellent activities for helping to destress,” Lee said. “I like to knit while watching TV, so it’s something for my hands to do. It’s a great skill for anyone to learn, and it’s fun.” 

Marostica said she appreciates the club because it allows her to hang out and do one of her favorite activities while also helping others. She hopes the club will continue in the future so that students have a way to volunteer from home while COVID is still around.

 “I really enjoy knitting and crocheting,” Marostica said. “So working on my own projects and working on projects that I’ll donate is just fun for me and I like helping other people do the same.”