New clubs emerge at Dougherty: find your niche

Haley Hashimoto and Taylor Atienza

With over 3,000 students at Dougherty Valley High School, it’s no surprise our school is home to over 150 clubs, each with a unique purpose that enriches the culture of the campus and students’ lives.  Clubs not only allow students to expand their worlds outside the classroom, but build connections between students and the community as well.

“Clubs are vital because they help students pursue their interests outside of the school day,” says Assistant Principal Ms. Megan Moilanen. “Our school is growing and I am glad that there are so many opportunities for students to connect with each other over shared interests.”

A diverse mix of clubs have been established this year. The following are just a few new clubs Dougherty Valley has to offer.

Colors for Charity

Service, Art, Shared Interest

Colors for Charity, founded by sophomore Ashwathi Nair, is a club that gives members the opportunity to donate their artwork to hospitals and children’s homes.

“We focus on emotional responses,” says Nair. “The reason that we are donating art is because we want our beneficiaries — like the sick people in hospitals and children in youth homes — to be happier, and just know that someone cares about them.”

She hopes that Colors for Charity will give students a way to relieve stress while simultaneously providing ways to get involved with the community.

“Currently, I’m being crushed by academics, and I’m pretty sure a lot of students are being crushed by academics in the same way.  A lot of students also need opportunities to volunteer … if you combine something that people can relax to, something like art, and volunteering opportunities, people can get things done … while also being less stressed out about everything,” explains Nair.

This year, Colors for Charity hopes to donate artwork to the VA Veterans Hospital, the Fred Finch Youth Center and the African Library Project.

Trash to Treasure (T2T)


Trash to Treasure, or T2T, was founded by sophomore Kia McCormick.  The club uses unique mediums such as household items and recycled materials to create art. The idea for the club came from a trip McCormick took to the Denmark Museum of Modern Art, where she was inspired by various sculptures made from household objects.

“We would like members to take away from this club that art can truly be made out of anything and to think out of the box on different ways objects can be used.” she states.

McCormick also puts emphasis on the significance of art in students’ lives, saying, “Sometimes we need to get away from our studies and do something to relieve stress, and this is just another creative outlet available to students.”

This year, Trash to Treasure aims to expose members to a wide variety of art techniques and styles.  These skills will be applied later this year when members create a sculpture that the club hopes to donate to the San Ramon City Hall.

Nothing But Nets

Shared Interest, Service

Nothing but Nets is a charity organization dedicated to raising money to send mosquito nets to places in Africa where there is high risk for malaria.  The chapter of this organization at Dougherty was established by Tarun Sreedhar and Harman Arora.

The two sophomores noticed a particularly strong interest in basketball at Dougherty Valley. They decided to use this interest, combined with their own passions for the sport, to raise money for a charitable cause.

“The club is relevant to DV because we live in a very rich neighborhood, and we should give to those who are less fortunate,” said founders Sreedhar and Arora.

The co-founders want members to be aware of the potential they have to affect the world.

“Our club really affects the whole community, because we are going to do service projects, as well as finally help people around the world suffering from malaria.”

Later this year, Nothing But Nets plans to host fundraising events such as basketball tournaments and service projects.

National English Honor

Society (NEHS)


The National English Honor Society, or NEHS, is a nationally recognized organization that now has a chapter at Dougherty Valley. It was introduced to DV by junior Amy Cha, and aims to help those passionate about English literature and language arts further their learning through workshops.

“I noticed that our school excelled in clubs that were math or science related,” Cha explains. “I was inspired to make this club because I wanted a place for people who were passionate and loved English to grow and explore the subject.”

NEHS also helps students explore creative facets of the subject with events like poetry slams.

“In English classes, our main focus is usually on analysis and writing essays, and while it is important to consistently practice and develop in those aspects, there is always more to explore outside of them,” says Cha. “One area of academics can open the way for creativity, new experiences and potential careers, and I would like for members to have the experience and place to do so.”

In addition to service activities and other writing exercises, the NEHS also helps students prepare for exams and offers scholarships for skilled writers.

Welcoming Committee Club Countries and Culture, Service

The Welcoming Committee Club was founded by senior President Kristina Kim and junior Vice President Yun Chai Sung. They created this club to welcome everyone to Dougherty Valley, emphasizing the inclusion of foreign students.

“We support a confident and warm atmosphere among students of all nationalities while also giving them special opportunities to share and teach their culture,” Kim and Sung said.

On campus, they noticed how students looked down upon differences.

“Why is it that visitors instantly realize Dougherty’s benefit of diverse ethnicity, while students who actually attend Dougherty are so preoccupied with labeling those ‘benefits’ as disadvantages?” they wondered. “Our club wants to transform those disadvantages to benefits for good … We want our members, regardless of age, gender and ethnicity especially, to feel at home when being at school.”

Kim and Sung plan to go beyond just community service hours, and want to make strong bonds with their members by celebrating differences and creating memories. “We strongly believe that making our members welcomed and confident at school is also encouraging members of the community [to] feel welcomed and confident in San Ramon.”

Student-Athlete Advisory

Committee (SAAC)

Shared Interest

“The SAAC is unique in that all athletes are united rather than divided by their sport,” says senior Amanda O’Brien, president of the Student-Athlete Advisory Committee at Dougherty Valley.  “All student-athletes from DVHS are welcome to join and contribute their own ideas to enhance the student-athlete environment at DVHS.”

The SAAC is an organization recognized by the National Collegiate Athletic Association, more commonly known as the NCAA. The committee strives to assist student-athletes through a variety of activities, such as peer tutoring and fundraising events, including the DVHS Color Run. The SAAC also hosts Olympic and professional athletes as guest speakers. Besides promoting general student welfare, the club offers help to athletes interested in pursuing Collegiate Athletics, or those needing academic help.

“I hope SAAC members will unite as athletes and support each other on game days, understand the recruiting process, assist each other through peer tutoring and celebrate what it means to be a student-athlete,” O’Brien explains.