College Prep Club, UnidosNow, Starts in Full Swing!

Denny Lu, Staff Reporter

As students worldwide head back to the classroom, they are hard at work with new modalities, classes, and extracurriculars. More recently, clubs have resumed virtually for all students. Notably, the UnidosNow Club started meeting virtually this past week, an organization that helps all students get ready for college and career readiness. Specifically, their officer team is striving to be there for junior and senior students during these unprecedented times.

Camila Moran and Maria Alonzo, both of who are club leaders, presented the first meeting this past week. More than 40 students signed up to join the club, a promising

Ready. Set. Action. Over the summer, UnidosNow officers (Left to Right) Camila Moran, Maria Alonzo, and Denny Lu film a recruitment video for the club. The three of them launched a partnership with the Mask-Up Manatee coalition at the same time, creating videos for both the school and the community. “We are ready for this school year,” Alonzo said.

turn-out. As meetings turn virtual for all clubs, Moran and Alonzo acknowledged the challenge for many of their peers. For many students, getting adapted to hybrid and eLearning modalities presents a barrier to how clubs will meet this Fall.

Alonzo, who is a senior and secretary for UnidosNow, knows first-hand these barriers.

“The main struggle my team faced preparing for the first meeting was getting the message out,” Alonzo said. “We have been using posters and Schoology to spread the message of how [UnidosNow] can help with the college preparation process.”

Moran, who is Vice-President, reiterated their optimism by providing a personal story of her own. “I know a lot of students need guidance on how to use their time [in high school] to stand out,” Moran elaborated. “As a club, we are confident that this year we will have a high turn-out because a lot of upperclassmen need this extra support. That’s why we are at about 45 interested members!”

One of these members is Jocelyn Zegarra-Paredes, a junior who attended the Wednesday meeting and expressed excitement for UnidosNow’s activities this school year. This will be her second year participating in  college prep programs, returning after enjoying her first year.

“I like this club [because] it gives us information when you need help. They are there if you ever need someone to talk to,” Zegarra-Paredes noted.

Sharing (Content) is Caring! During the first UnidosNow Club meeting, Vice-President Camila Moran introduces the audience to the purpose and mission of UnidosNow. Later on, she presented the eventful calendar for this year’s club. “We are here to support you,” Moran said to the new members.

Another member, Alessia Backenstross, who recently graduated, attributes her wealth of knowledge about college life and applications to the student-led organization.

“UnidosNow advised me and stressed the importance of my studies, especially mathematics and science, in pursuit of my intended undergraduate major,” Baceknstross proclaimed. “I will definitely recommend this club to anyone who has the chance in high school to participate because you learn so much about presenting yourself on paper, a skill that we all need.” These successes led Backenstross to head to the University of Florida this fall to major in engineering.

UnidosNow is open to everyone interested in getting ready for the rigorous college admissions process. All meetings are held virtually. To sign up, text @mhsunidos to 81010 for Remind.