As the beginning of the school year rolled around, freshmen Annabel Baxter and Elise Kratzer decided to create a club to “better the community and give back and be more involved,” says Baxter. The club is called the Alpha Leo Club and is a younger version for teens of the larger foundation called Lions Clubs International. The Lions Club is arguably the world’s largest service club organization, with 1.35 million members in more than 46,000 clubs and countless stories of Lions acting on the same simple idea, to improve communities.
The Alpha Leo Club acts on a similar idea but is more focused on the school community. Leo stands for leadership, experience, and opportunity. Baxter explained, “This motto is able to provide young people with an opportunity for contribution and development both individually and as a group.” The Alpha Leo Club, which is what Kratzer and Baxter started at M-A, is aimed for kids between 12 and 18 years old in order to focus on the individual social development of teens and preteens. Kratzer decided to establish the club at M-A mainly because Kratzer was the president of the Alpha Leo club at Hillview Middle School and wanted to bring the organization to M-A. With the help of Baxter as her vice president, Kratzer was able to get permission and start the club.
During Club Rush, the duo received about 20 people who wanted to join the club, mostly freshmen and sophomores. “It was a big turnout and we did not expect that many people to join, with it being our first year as club owners,” Kratzer explained.
In addition to working on the Canned Food Drive and the Anti-Hunger Games, the group also plans to work with the City of Joy organization in a drive that donates resources to girls who are unable to obtain feminine hygiene products. The club members also plan to help at the Veterans Affairs Hospital in Palo Alto and possibly take part in service activities such as beach cleanup.
Baxter explained that “if there’s one thing that M-A should know about the Leo Club, its that we are driven to better not just the Menlo Park community, but hopefully make a difference in the world as well.” In addition, Kratzer shares that there is always room for another Leo in the club and they are willing to take any one who wants to join at any time of the year.