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Jag Journal

The Student News Site of Johnson High School

Jag Journal

Jag Journal

Hope For Hispanic Heritage

Las Valentina’s group continues service in community
Submitted Photo
Lily Tamayo and Serena Rincon at Jag Jamboree.

Over the years, the girls of Las Valentina’s club have heard the same thing: they’re too white to hang out with the Hispanic kids, they’re also too Hispanic to hang out with the white kids.

“So then you have to act a certain way around certain people and act a certain way around other people, so that you don’t get put into stereotypes,” Las Valentinas co-president Lily Tamayo said. 

The Las Valentinas club is a student-led organization dedicated to giving Hispanic females a safe community to go to, no matter which country a student comes from or if they speak Spanish or not. This sisterhood meets every other Wednesday after school in room 206. 

“The club is helping students, and younger versions of myself navigate the world that they live in now,” teacher sponsor Renee Gomez said. “You’re going to find a family here, and we’re going to help you in so many ways.”

This community opened its doors in October of last year when Tamayo said she felt underrepresented at her school. She came to her friend, now co-president, Serenity Rincon with the grief that Hispanic girls at their school just weren’t valued and even worse, they weren’t united.

“We decided let’s change that and make a club for Hispanic girls,” Rincon said. “Let’s just create a club for us to come together and you know, talk about our heritage and our culture.”

This group of girls not only tries to help out students at their school, but also other students in the Hays district who may be undervalued. Since they’ve started, the group has been volunteering their time at Tom Green Elementary school events.  

 “We’re a family; we do a lot of volunteering,” Rincon said. “We’re basically just here to give back to our community because they do a lot for us and once we leave and graduate, they don’t get back anything in return.”

One of the big benefits of the club for its members, is the help it specifically provides for seniors, especially those whose parents have never attended college. Along with this, everyone is capable of receiving service hours they may need for other clubs. 

“I’m trying to make sure they get the help that not everyone gets,” Gomez said. 

When the co-presidents aren’t announcing their next community service events, or fundraisers they discuss major headlines of a member from the Hispanic community.

“We would dive into an important Hispanic woman who was a politician, an influencer, someone who paved the way for Hispanic culture,” Rincon said. “We talk about people in movement rights, and how their change has brought us closer.” 

The co-presidents and Gomez agreed the highlight of the club last year, and what they really look forward to this year, is the tamale fundraiser. Members and their relatives, especially their grandma’s, made tamales and bonded. 

“It was just a big party of us bonding together over stories and traditions,” Rincon said. “We were able to just listen to each other and talk about our different families and what we do over special traditions and holidays.”

Tamayo and Rincon expressed their goal to make sure the club has a good strong foundation for its future leaders. 

“Our main goal is just to continue to reach out at this school and get more members,” Rincon said. “We just want to see our club grow.”

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About the Contributor
Daniella Moreno
Daniella Moreno, Editor
Dany Moreno is a junior and in her free time she reads books non-stop. She is also in the Criminal Justice Club, Book Club, Leo Club and Debate, and holds leadership positions in those clubs.
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