Embrace Ausome club embraces new opportunities

The Embrace Ausome club was founded at the start of the 2021 school year to help special needs students and reduce the stigma around mental health. Having partnered with the non-profit Embrace Ausome, President senior Emily Hsu, along with co-members, created the chapter to help the WJ community.

Although it was difficult for the club to host meetings virtually, since the return of in-person learning, WJ Embrace Ausome is making efforts to help students de-stress, relax and help them transition back into regular schooling.

“We want to help spread awareness to prevent misunderstandings regarding people with disabilities,” club member senior Minh Nguyen said.

The club meets every Thursday at room 130 and often hosts events that include poster making, supply drives and educational support.

“This club lined up with the same values and this was another way I could help people who have a mental or physical disability and we also fundraise for it which is something I like about this club,” Social Media Coordinator, senior Caroline Dooren said.

The primary goal of the club is to de-stigmatize issues surrounding mental illness, neurological disorders and support institutions and organizations to better the lives of those with mental illness and special needs.

”As high schoolers it’s pretty difficult to directly help those with disabilities with what we have money wise, resource wise and credibility wise but we can help support those with the credibility and resources,” Hsu said.

Along with efforts to help support students mentally the club also hosts events such as fundraisers. The club has hosted several different events over the past year to raise funds, one of the most notable being a fundraiser partnered with Playa Bowls, Kensington where the winner of a writing competition was awarded a scholarship.

Although the club leaders are all seniors, they plan to continue the club through recruitment of interested underclassmen. Those who are interested in running the club hosting activities can contact club leaders.

“I do want the club to continue to live on even after we leave,” Hsu said.

Any student interested can join the club with the only qualifications being involved and dedicated.

“Younger students have the opportunity to get leadership experience and also help the community,” Hsu said.