Enriching ACHS culture with their own

The formation of a new club at Antioch Community High School allows for more diversity due to student efforts.


Olivia Gerhardt

Senior Joaquin Barba leads the club through their first meeting together.

For over a week, posters have hung along the hallways, all containing the words “Filipino American Student Association” or FASA for abbreviation. FASA, a student-run association, dedicates itself to promoting Filipino and Filipino-American culture while also establishing a sense of unity and pride for members; the club is open to all of the student body.

The first meeting took place on Friday, Dec. 3. Senior Joaquin Barba formed the club and chose teachers Madelynn Soberano and Emily Sobczak as advisers. For Barba, creating a club like this has always been an accomplishment he has hoped to achieve.

“It was so much fun to realize that this dream I had of having a Filipino club here, not just going to the one over at Lakes, could actually be a reality,” Barba said. 

At the start of the meeting, members participated in an ice breaker and were introduced to the Filipino words of the week using the Tagalog language: Maligayang Bakasyon (Happy Holidays) and Maligayang Pasko (Merry Christmas).

“I enjoy that we get to learn new Tagalog sentences every meeting because I don’t know a lot,” freshman Vivian Lorch said. 

Junior Neo Uy holds similar ideas to Lorch, as he does not know the Tagalog language either. For him, the club brings a sense of community, one that he has not felt before.

“I don’t talk to a lot of people, especially people that are the same as me ethnicity-wise,” Uy said. “I think it’s really nice meeting new people who have more similarities to you than differences.”

Though it is only the first meeting, multiple fundraiser ideas were cultivated. One idea that has been cultivated is shipping boxes over the summer to help people in the Philippines with goods; the atmosphere already present during the first meeting may allow them to complete this goal successfully.

As soon as Barba stepped foot inside room 263, the turnout was better than expected. Some familiar faces were unable to attend, but he aspires to gain more support from the school as FASA continues.

“I want our school to see that our club [has a] good meaning behind it,” Barba said. “The things we’re doing to help our community and help people across the pond, just have people be like, ‘I agree with that.’”

The month of December only marks the beginning of FASA. As more details become finalized, the club will continue forward, aiming to receive recognition for all its efforts. For more information or thinking about joining the club, contact Barba at [email protected]