News Category: Breaking News
by Margaret, News Team ContributorExtracurriculars are a fundamental aspect of the quintessential American experience. Their significance lies in the fact that they are highly capable of shaping a student’s interests and potentially even a future major or pathway! Not only are they essential parts of distinguishing a person from others in the all-important college admissions process, but they also serve as a platform to establish lifelong friends and meaningful relationships.Two newly formed extracurriculars in our lovely city are the Bollywood Ensemble club at Amador Valley High School and the Pleasanton chapter of United Under Arts. I had the privilege of interviewing Ananya Venkatachalam, a rising junior who is the president of both. Please continue reading the interview included down below.1. What is your background in performing arts?Where do I start? I’ve been singing since I was 2 years old, and I have been in choir in the 8th and 9th grades. I am trained in Indian Classical and Western Music, so I have always had a taste of both worlds, both so different yet so related. I have also learned a bit of dance when I was younger, but singing is really my forever passion.2. Why were you compelled to start these two organizations?I have noticed that,while there are many STEM and career clubs at school, there aren’t any clubs for those who just want to burst out in song, you know? And Bollywood is something a lot of people at our school can relate to due to our large Indian demographic; I just had to do it. As for UUA, I wanted to give the teens of Pleasanton a space where they could express themselves while also giving back, and I decided to extend this wonderful organization into our already talented city!3. Are there any particular role models for you in your areas of expertise in performing arts?I don’t exactly have any role models per say— you know the typical artists you hear nowadays, and some Indian artists. But on a similar note, one indirect role model for me is my mom. She’s the one who always tells me that it’s not enough to have a passion— you need to do something with it.4. Why would you suggest someone join either of these clubs?If you really love the particular art background you come from, and would love to bestow your service and knowledge onto others, you should consider joining UUA! I’m in the process of accepting and reviewing applications now, but I hope that once we have a little circle, we can be one another’s second family. As for AVHS Bollywood Ensemble, anyone who wishes to immerse themselves and explore a new culture is welcome, as well people who wish to relate to their peers. Basically, if you want a fun, inclusive space where you can meet like-minded people, make friends, and have lasting memories, you should join either!5. How was starting your own initiative a unique experience in the midst of a pandemic?It wasn’t all that different, but networking and finding interested people was definitely hard because you can’t always be around to nag them 🙂 But essentially, I wanted to start now so we could get to know one another and start planning because schedules, work, and just life in general are crazy right now!6. What are your goals for the further development of these two clubs before you graduate?I hope to make a difference with UUA; I plan to host music and art workshops for kids or perform concerts at senior homes— anything that puts a smile on peoples’ faces. Maybe we can even register for arts contests! I also hope to raise a lot of money in the next two years, which will then go towards helping those in need get the tools they deserve. And I sincerely hope that it’s a fun experience for everyone in the end. In terms of AVHSBE, I’m thinking we can perform at school gatherings and events, and posting online videos to garner attention. Similarly to UUA, we could possibly sign up for competitions or championships. It all depends on the situation that our forever-changing world is in!7. Do you have any advice on how to cultivate superb leadership skills for any students wishing to take on more authoritative roles in their extracurriculars?Don’t be afraid to ask! A lot of leadership positions only require you to be organized and enthusiastic, and a quick DM or email can set a lot of things in motion. Also, genuinely care about what you’re doing- a lot of people look at extracurriculars as ways to boost their college applications, but does that mean that passions are fading, and that everything is just robotic participation? Love what you do, stay on top of things, and never put too much on your plate— often, our extracurricular eyes can be bigger than our extracurricular stomachs.8. Do you have anything else you would like Ptown Life readers to know?Do what you love, and you’ll begin to love what you do.
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