New club founded to empower women

Isabelle Keever, Copy Editor

Starting with a dream held since freshman year, senior Elizabeth Schmitz created a haven for all girls to feel accepted. Called WISE club, or Women Inspiring Success and Empowerment, there is now a safe space on campus for every girl – or guy – to meet and talk about their experiences.

Schmitz, the club’s founder, wants to acknowledge the difficulty of being a teenage girl and the struggle some women go through on a daily basis.

“I’ve always been seen as a unique or odd person, and I wasn’t always accepted,” Schmitz said. “That’s why it is so important to have a place where all girls feel welcome.”

Throughout high school, Schmitz has seen the way girls treat one another and believes that the environment is too toxic for young women who are trying to figure themselves out.

“The culture is so vicious and competitive,” Schmitz said. “I’ve seen people stab each other in back, gossip and give others wrong answers.”

She has many plans for the club, including guest speakers, service opportunities and what she calls the ‘circle of trust’, where girls can sit down and talk about what is going on in their lives.

“I want WISE to be a tight-knit community,” Schmitz said. “My dream is for it to become a big force in the school, like HOSA or StuCo.”

The club’s sponsor, history teacher Laura Higley, was willing to be a part of this club when she heard Schmitz’ idea.

“She is earnest and has a vision,” Higley said. “I like the idea of community and her commitment to the club being accessible.”

Friends of Schmitz are also eager to see what is to come with the new club.

“I’m excited for women of our school to come together and empower each other,” junior Katie Allen said.

Schmitz’ intention is to reach as many women as possible, and she would love to see the club expand to other schools.

“It’s a lofty goal,” Schmitz said. “But I know the magnitude of girls it could reach if it did happen.”

WISE club plans to meet every other week on Wednesdays in room 1216.