Clubs unite VHHS one booth at a time

On April 24, VHHS held the biennial Unity Fair during DARING week, which is a series of positive prevention programs to help reduce risky behaviors and choices. The Unity Fair sought out to hold an event that would educate students on diversity and bring a sense of belonging to VHHS students.

During all lunch periods, students were able to visit 15 booths at the fair. All booths were full of different activities and games to help open VHHS students and staff up to different clubs and other groups that they may have not been exposed to in the past.

“This is my very first time attending the Unity Fair, and right when I walked into the foyer I felt a very strong sense of welcoming from all of the different people there. It definitely gave me perspective on the diversity within our school that I wasn’t aware of before,” Steven Hart (11), said.

The Unity Fair set out to not just cover diversity within ethnic groups but the diversity among all types of people in our VHHS community.

“We all have similarities, so with the Unity Fair we want to acknowledge those similarities by celebrating our differences,” Amy Dillon, the VHHS SAP Coordinator said.

Clubs from across the school participated, including Latino Alliance, Black Student Union, Muslim Student Association, Girls Who Code and other clubs; the Unity Fair had something for everyone.

“When you’re in a club or not in a club at all, you probably don’t scope out clubs or groups that you aren’t a part of, so the Unity Fair allows you to find out more about those clubs and find out things about the cultures that you didn’t know before,” Samantha Harris (12), a Diversity Council member said.

Although VHHS’s size is smaller than other Lake County high schools like Libertyville and Stevenson, there is a large mix of different cultures and people. The Unity Fair gave clubs that students may not know about a chance to express who they are and what they stand for.

“Not everybody is the same and you get to see the different cultures and what everyone is about…Chicos and Chicas really got to show what it’s like to be a minority and it’s just a great experience,” Emillee Velazquez (11), a Chicas club member said.

One member of Best Buddies, Evelyn Leary (10), was particularly touched by the opportunity given by the Unity Fair to celebrate students differences and their similarities.

“I hope [students] realize that we are all more similar than they might think and that we should embrace our differences and not separate people in a negative way. And treat them all with respect and learn from everyone cultures or beliefs,” Leary said.