At Calhoun, there are many paths to become a leader. We encourage our students to take advantage of these opportunities, as they are instrumental to their personal and academic growth. In addition to being the captain of athletic teams and participating in student government, Calhoun offers a wide range of clubs and school programs for US students to make an impact on the community. By working with adults in the community, students learn important leadership skills that can help them thrive during their time at Calhoun and beyond.
Calhoun offers 46 clubs and school programs for Upper School students to join, including Peer Leaders, Cougar Society, Students in Action, Sustainability Club, Model UN, Diversity Accountability Board (DAB), Cougar Review, Debate Club and many more; they vary every year depending on student’s interests. “One of my favorite things about Calhoun is if you take the initiative to start something, you can make a lot of changes here,” said Basma Elbagory '23, one of the founding members of DAB. Our teachers believe that learning leadership is collaborative; we encourage students to utilize support from their faculty advisors, but also take on the responsibility of holding space and recruiting peers. Club meetings provide students valuable time to connect with peers outside of class time, while feeding their growing passions. School programs give students the chance to work closely with faculty advisors and explore leadership through representing Calhoun outside of the classroom, working with younger students, creating content for community platforms and much more. Peer Leaders, for example, are 12th grade students who lead the 9th grade camping trip at the beginning of the year, teach a class on life skills, and serve as mentors throughout the school year. They stand out in the community, and serve as a resource for new students who are transitioning to Calhoun.
US Dean of Students Semeka Smith-Williams knows how student leadership has helped Calhoun grow: “Student leaders contribute and receive a deeper sense of what makes Calhoun special, what the community needs, and how they can honor traditions that make Calhoun great.” Both clubs and student programs give students the voice and responsibility of leadership; in both, they learn collaboration, exercise trust, and explore their passions.
Calhoun prides itself in providing an environment where any student leader can thrive and learn new skills. We will continue to support their goals in these groups and can’t wait to see the impact they will have on Calhoun.