An article on the SOS Club in the San Clemente Journal. December 3, 2014.
Serving Up the Holidays
by Donia Moore
San Clemente High School Students are serving the community in some interesting ways. They’re bright, they’re brainy, and most importantly, they’re our future. And in their desire to serve, they have discovered some creative ways of doing it.
SOS Service Club
Focusing on helping both the student community at the high school and the community at large all year long, this club tries to set an example and provide events where classmates can enjoy themselves without fear of possible substance abuse.
“All students are welcome to come to an event,” says Sophia Spralja, president of the club. “They don’t have to be an official member. Our events are attended by an average of 20 students, but that always changes and rotates.”
The club provides free fun events for students such as ice skating, color war, dodge ball, bonfires and other activities where students can come and have a great time in a substance abuse –free environment. At every event, SOS collects food for FAM. They have also donated their time at the Grunion Run, Ocean Fest, Boot Camp, high school registration, and other community events.
One hundred twenty-eight members strong, and growing, President Sophia also functions as Director of Community Outreach. She’s helped by her other officers: Brinna Lee – Vice President, Director of Membership; Katie Mednick – Director of Healthy Eating; Christy Mednick – Director of Healthy Activities; Shelby Nix – Secretary; and Haley McCabe – Director of Volunteerism (FAM). Their goal is to change the culture at San Clemente High School to help students understand that they can have fun while being drug-free and healthy.
“Most kids at our school don’t use drugs, but the community’s perception is the opposite. We want to change that. We want our community leaders to recognize the substance abuse issues in San Clemente and support us in our activities and educational events,” says Sophia. “We’ve spoken at City Council and local clubs like Kiwanis, to create awareness of the substance abuse issues in our community.”
The SOS Club has been involved with the PSA campaign “Lock Up Your Meds” by providing posters to local pharmacies, distributing flyers and even placing ads in local newspapers.
Sophia has seen how relationships can be changed by substance abuse, and wanted to do something about it. The club not only provides activities that are drug-free, but tries to provide support to those who may be suffering, letting them know they are not alone.
Sophia feels that her leadership role with the club has made her stronger. She has become comfortable with whom she is and the choices she has made. She says that she has acquired the ability to give her opinion, understanding that others may have a different opinion, and that it’s ok.
Sophia has lived in San Clemente her entire life so far. Eventually she would like to go to a college on the east coast and play soccer, one of her favorite sports. She hopes to become a journalist in New York City. Sophia has been greatly influenced by her mom who was one of the founders of iHope in San Clemente, as well as the Wellness and Prevention Center.
“Helping others is simply who we are as a family,” says Sophia.
The club may be reached through San Clemente High School.