Over the past several days at New York Film Academy’s Los Angeles campus, clubs and organizations have been hosting a fair for new and returning students. Festivities brought out hundreds of students over the four days. Melinda Graves, who helped organize the fair, said, “I love the turnout. I’ve really enjoyed seeing all of this come together and watching students become more than just a school, they’re becoming a community.”
Graves continued, “I think it’s super important because it gives like-minded people a chance to be a part of something bigger.” Clubs and activities are an important part of any student’s general education. According to the National Center for Education Statistics, “Indicators of successful participation in school include consistent attendance, academic achievement, and aspirations for continuing education beyond high school. Extracurricular participation was positively associated with each of these success indicators….” So, it follows that students registering to join clubs are putting themselves ahead of the curve.
Representing at the festival were Athletics, LGBTQ, Student Government, African & Black American Film Club (ABA), Chinese Club, NYFA C.A.R.E.S., Glee Club, Le Femmes De Cine, Industry Lab, and Indian Club. Hosts broke down what the club activities scheduled throughout the year were, what weekly meetings are like, and what the participants are hoping to accomplish in the school year.
Mel Gamboa, who helps run ABA, is passionate about engaging the school’s Black student population. “We want to make opportunities for students to network.” In that spirit, they’ve organized an event to attend a film summit at the academy.
Kira Hagi and Kaneeka Patel are hoping to save the student government this year. Participation has waned in previous years but the women feel student government is an important part of being a good student. Hagi said, “Our objective is to keep it forward. We believe they should be a voice for students.” Turnout for the event was good, said Patel, “We had a lot of people sign up. We were surprised, but we’re expecting there to be a positive turn out.”
They’ve already started planning small changes that will have a big impact. One of the major changes they’ve made is to get rid of a hierarchal system. There is no President, just students trying to make their school better. Another initiative is to bring the Barham and Riverside buildings together. Many acting students have never stepped foot in the Riverside building, and the same could be said of filmmakers for the Barham building. Finally, they’re hoping to get the school to go green.
Francia Romero was representing the Latin Club. The goals of Latin Club are to share the cultures of Venezuela, Mexico, Columbia, Argentina, and, yes, Spain with one another. “We want to share these diverse cultures whether it’s through short films, plays, or music,” Romero said.
NYFA C.A.R.E.S is a volunteer program that seeks to help the surrounding community. Paul McKenna is the Community Outreach Department and Service Leading Manager for C.A.R.E.S. He’s hoping to make the club a Circle K and has already secured sponsorship from the local Kiwanis club. One of their upcoming projects will take place over the holiday break. Burbank has a float in the Parade of Roses. C.A.R.E.S. will be donating their time to decorating the float with roses. “It’s simple stuff. We just have to learn how,” said McKenna.
NYFA Los Angeles has many award-winning sports teams. Elise Cregg was at the fair representing the Athletics department. “Working well with others, leadership, and teamwork, you practice all those skills when you join athletics,” Cregg said. Sports teams include basketball, soccer, and baseball.
If you’re interested in joining a club or organization, but missed the fair, there’s still time to join. Check the boards on each floor for upcoming events, or search for their pages on Facebook.