The Student News Site of Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School

Eagle Eye News

Breaking News
  • February 19No school today, Feb. 19 in honor of Presidents' Day
  • February 13MSD to observe a Day of Service and Love tomorrow, Feb. 14 to honor the 17 victims of the 2018 shooting
  • February 5MSD cheer wins runner-up at state competition
  • February 4MSD women's wrestling places first at Broward County Athletic Association Championship; men's places fourth
  • January 31Students to follow PSD schedule on Thursday, Feb. 1; dismissal will occur at 11:40 a.m.
The Student News Site of Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School

Eagle Eye News

The Student News Site of Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School

Eagle Eye News

Advertisements
Cheering+On+Our+Nations.+Junior+Sara+Calderon+and+senior+Paola+Ulli+excidedly+sing+along+to+the+latin+music+playing+during+lunch.+The+WTA+club+played+music+from+a+playlist+that+was+carefully+curated+to+represent+over+150+students+home+countries.+
Ashveen Saini
Cheering On Our Nations. Junior Sara Calderon and senior Paola Ulli excidedly sing along to the latin music playing during lunch. The WTA club played music from a playlist that was carefully curated to represent over 150 students home countries.

Welcome to America Club hosts first annual Universal Festival

The Welcome to America Club held its first annual Universal Festival in the courtyard during both lunches on Wednesday, Nov. 29 to celebrate and share the different cultures and nationalities of students at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School.

“There are a lot of people that you see [at MSD], but you don’t know where they’re from,” WTA President Mariana Mateus said. “You don’t always think that there are that many cultures here, but there are actually a lot.”

At the festival, students made posters sharing the history and culture of their countries, wore team jerseys or traditional clothing from their countries, played music from a playlist created by members of the club showcasing music that represents each country, painted flags onto students’ faces, drew flags around the courtyard using chalk and performed choreographed dances representing countries like Russia, Ukraine, Italy and more.

In order to hold the festival, officers of the club needed to obtain approvals for the location and event.

The festival was set up by most of the 150 club members. They designed and displayed posters advertising the festival, choreographed dances to perform and purchased the face paint used.

“For me, the festival meant an opportunity for everyone to meet people from our countries and learn about other continents,” WTA Vice President Ivanna Bohorquez said. “With the festival, everyone learned about different cultures with music and fun.”

The club was created last year with the goal of making all students at MSD, regardless of their nationality, feel welcome at school. It is sponsored by AP Spanish Literature teacher Luz Aguirre.

They hold meetings twice a month in room 908, where they play Kahoots, show informative presentations on classes and dual enrollment, make arts and crafts and play games outside.

“…in our club, it doesn’t matter who you are, and this is a place to celebrate and to make everyone welcome,” Mateus said. “It’s a space we share, where we can make friends and form a family.”

The club provides a safe haven for students who have recently moved to the United States and helps aid in the transition by teaching them about the American education system.

Along with this, it allows them to meet other students experiencing something similar and educates them on other countries and cultures in hopes of creating a more tolerant student body.

WTA plans to hold its second Universal Festival next school year and invites all students and staff at MSD to learn about the different countries and cultures students come from by joining the club.

This story was originally published in the December 2023 Eagle Eye print edition.

Leave a Comment
About the Contributors
Yusra Khairi, Social Media Editor
Yusra Khairi is a senior at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School. She is a first-year reporter. Along with writing, she enjoys reading, listening to music and watching movies.
Ashveen Saini, Social Media Editor
Ashveen Saini is a junior at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School. She likes listening to music and writing in her spare time. She enjoys hanging out with her friends and jet skiing.
Donate to Eagle Eye News
$655
$1200
Contributed
Our Goal

Your donation will support the student journalists of Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School. Your contribution will allow us to purchase equipment and cover our annual website hosting costs.

Navigate Left
Navigate Right
Donate to Eagle Eye News
$655
$1200
Contributed
Our Goal

Comments (0)

All Eagle Eye News Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *