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Tribal Tribune

The student news site of Wando High School

Tribal Tribune

The student news site of Wando High School

Tribal Tribune

Club brings inclusion and community

Members find belonging in the C.U.R.L.S. Club
Designed+by+Kendall+Bowers%0AShot+by+Kailey+Foushee
Designed by Kendall Bowers Shot by Kailey Foushee

After beginning last school year, the Culturally Unmatched Resilient Legacy Students [C.U.R.L.S.] Club has made its debut. They have grown from about seven students this past school year to over 20 current members.

The club focuses on college readiness and preparing African American students for the future, while also highlighting their inclusion in Wando overall culture. C.U.R.L.S. Club began last year after multiple students came forward and told assistant principal Kenya Mabry how they hoped to create an inclusive club for Black students.

“Several students last year wanted to create an organization that would represent their actual concerns they felt that [were] not actually being met from the school when it comes down to Black students,” Mabry said.

“[They wanted] to create a club that can actually focus on educational pursuits of Black students.”

According to Mabry, the club is very student-centric, with the founders and members driving the vision for the club’s purpose and service to others.

“It was basically based on the students and their goals… that was creating leadership positions and giving Black students the opportunity to seek further education after their high school career,” Mabry said. “Also, another goal is to create internships and career exposure.”

However, for senior member and president of the club, Jordan Bailem, C.U.R.L.S. Club means more to her than just preparing her and other students for the future. It means family.

“It gives us a safe place where we can all come together and hang out, to help each other with things that we need help in school wise [and] personal wise,” Bailem said.

Bailem was also one of the first members in the club. One of the club’s sponsors, former assistant principal Jason Drayton, came to her with the idea of joining. Ever since then, she has been a part of this family.

“I was excited because I’ve always gone to a predominantly white school and every thing I’ve done has just been surrounded by predominantly white people,” Bailem said. “It was nice to be surrounded by people I already knew and we all have a common interest.”

So far this year, C.U.R.L.S. club members have already doven deep into the futuristic planning and community aspects of the club. They have gone on multiple field trips such as to a local community college and to a nearby elementary school where they often do community service.

“We’re just going on field trips like [to] Claflin, which is an HBCU [Historically Black College or University] in Orangeburg,” Bailem said. “It was a bunch of different high school students and it was called the Panther Preview. They told us all the majors and minors, and just how that college is more of an all Black school.”

C.U.R.L.S. club members like Bailem have also traveled to St. James Santee Elementary School to read to some of the students. Such volunteer and community service has helped shape the club into becoming an inspiration for students such as Bailem.

“It’s inspired me to be more open. It just helps me understand that I have a voice in high school and I shouldn’t feel alone. And being a part of the club, it’s helped me [be] more understanding of who I am,” Bailem said.

As president of C.U.R.L.S. Club, Bailem has also invited other members such as junior Josh Lewis to join and to be a part of their community.

“I joined just [to] check it out,” Lewis said. “ It just changed my perspective on what it means to be a club because they’re super close with each other and they help each other out a lot.”

Similarly to Bailem, Lewis admires the family aspect of the club. To him, it is a unique type of bond between students similar to himself.

“It’s a fellowship. A brothership. Like, it’s just cool to be around a bunch of other African Americans and being part of a club,” Lewis said.

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