By Valentina Duong, Creative Director
With 120 first-time members, Kennedy’s California Scholarship Federation (CSF) club broke their all-time record of applicants this spring semester, bringing their total membership to 251 members. Established in 1921, CSF is a California statewide club that recognizes student academic excellence and rewards its members with scholarship opportunities for their achievements and dedication to community service.
Mr. Lam, the club advisor of CSF, was very pleased. “I knew that we would get a large amount of people. We’ve actually been growing in numbers,” he acknowledged. Ever since Ms. Alexander passed on CSF to Mr. Lam seven years ago in 2010-2011, CSF has significantly grown each year and is now the largest club on campus.
Though, as the club grew larger, the amount of work, time, and demand grew greater. Reviewing all of the submitted applications was a very long and grueling process, as described by Heather Gee (12), the president of CSF. Much more was expected from the cabinet and their abilities.
“We do get a lot of emails, so we need to make sure that we’re on top of everything and always replying as fast as we can,” informed Gee (12). Kayla Fong (10), the CSF sophomore class representative, added, “We’re still trying to input everyone else’s points as well, but it’s just hard to.”
Each semester, cabinet officers spend long hours after school to examine and verify each applicant’s self-reported grades, satisfactory citizenship, and report card. Once the applicant meets the certain qualifications and is finally accepted, they are added to the club’s roster and later configured into a long spreadsheet. All applications are physically kept in separate binders sized between one to four-inches, which are organized by grade level and last name alphabetically.
To retain their membership, CSF members must reach the club’s point requirements each semester, which can be attained by attending monthly meetings, participating in projects, events, and community service from outside hours. Members are not allowed to double-dip their community service hours for points.
However, the benefits of joining CSF outweigh the stress and chaos. “Honestly, being in a big club is nice because that means there’s more people with a personal responsibility to make much more of an impact upon our community,” explained Rohit Jhawar (9), who joined CSF as a new member this year.
“From what I can tell from being in it, it’s about helping out the community, and a way for people to put out their best foot to get rewarded for what they do through scholarships,” Jhawar continued. “You can further your knowledge and help out everyone else around you.”
Spencer Tsang (11), the CSF president-elect for next year, agrees. “CSF is a platform to do service together and make a bigger impact than just by yourself,” he affirmed. “To be recognized as a CSF member really does hold a lot of meaning.”
This year, CSF collaborated with many other service clubs on-campus including Key Club, Endeavor, WeForShe, Girls United, Interact, and Club H.E.R.O. for a school-wide Holiday Mixer event. Together, they assembled about 300 care packages for victims of domestic violence. Unlike the usual programs and events that they have done in the past years, the Holiday Mixer event was distinguishably memorable to many CSF members.
“It was very collaborative to actually branch out to other service clubs on campus and work with them,” stated Gee (12). “The thought of bringing everyone together for a common cause is something that I really enjoyed doing.”
CSF meets monthly on the first Tuesday of the month in the auditorium after school. If you are a sophomore, junior, or senior interested in applying to CSF next year, membership applications will be available in Mr. Lam’s classroom T-5 this upcoming fall semester during the 2017-18 school year. Freshmen may join, but will have to wait until second semester to apply.