There are a variety of clubs in all school campuses, guaranteeing at least one that would pique interest in a student. From chemistry to sewing to Harry Potter, clubs exist for a specific purpose. Yet, regardless of the reason for the club, everyone is sure to be included. Clubs bring together a diverse populace of students that share a common interest. Asian Cooperation Club at Crescenta Valley High School, also known as CooperAsian, is one example of a club that has the purpose of being all inclusive. In a school where an overwhelming majority of the Asian population is Korean, this club was designed to introduce other Asian cultures that are minorities or nonexistent in the student body. CooperAsian is meant to give representation to all Asians, especially to those whose ethnicities are not as well known compared to familiar ones in east Asia. However, the targeted audience extends to non-Asian students, as well. As one of the co-founders explained, “Contrary to popular belief, all Asians are not the same. The continent is gigantic- it’s preposterous to say that there isn’t a difference between the nations. That kind of ignorance needs to be tackled right now, as teens.” The club welcomes all who are willing to learn about the different Asian cultures.
At monthly meetings, CooperAsian chooses one culture to highlight, with the suggestions of the members. Using a slideshow, the officers, along with anyone who wants to speak, give a quick overview of the country. Topics include the language, customs, music, plus geography and if applicable, its impact in our community. The most appealing part of the club, however, is definitely the prospect of food. In accordance to the Asian country being presented in the meeting, food of that country is brought as well. For example, the first meeting of the year was the Filipino meeting, where lumpia, pancit, and leche flan were served. The club also had meetings this year that were not about a specific Asian country, such as hapa (half white half Asian), Lunar New Year, and community service events. A growing prospect for the club is the chance to give back to the Asian American community. The club has been able to participate in service events outside school, such as the Holiday Carnival with KYCC in KoreaTown. “The club isn’t just about learning, but what we can do for those in our community as well,” a member shared, “Volunteering in LA was an even more immersive way to experience cultures beyond our own.”
CooperAsian is a stress-free club that welcomes all to eat with friends during the lunch break at school. However, the impact is greater with the education that comes with attending the meetings. The president, Yvalisse, stated, “Being of Asian descent ourselves, the club was our chance to not only connect to our own backgrounds, but to those that aren’t well represented in our community. We wanted to give a platform that people could use to speak about their own experiences. Not only that, but for those who were just as curious as us to how our peers embrace their heritage.” Because of covid-19, the club has been utilizing social media to reach out to its members. Through Instagram lives, CooperAsian creates a virtual community in the midst of the virus. CooperAsian hopes to spread more awareness and produce more open mindedness to experience different cultures.
Hannah Sung, Grade 10
Crescenta Valley High School