Women of West

Women+of+West

Mary Mahoney

Lucy Schaefer

Although XH periods are immediately thought of to be a 40-minute study hall, 13 girls at the Lakota West Freshman Building are using this time in a more productive way.

Women of West, a girls-only, student-generated group led by Jen Parrett, is a bi-weekly XH group that meets every Wednesday and Friday. When the group was created, the girls, according to Mrs. Parrett, “wanted to be educated on social and emotional issues and help people.” Twice a week, Katie Bauer, who “makes connections with community members and business people” and Mrs. Parrett arrange for guest speakers to present skills via zoom about “self-confidence, leadership, how to help yourself, focusing, organization” and more. Although COVID has restricted in-person presentations, Mrs. Parrett says that “it’s always nice to see new faces.”

The original plan for W.O.W was not only to have guest speakers present, but also to help people such as children, the elderly, and the sick. However, Mrs. Parrett says that the club’s agenda really depends on time, and since there are already many speakers, there isn’t much time left. W.O.W has been completely booked since September 30th. Still, Mrs. Parrett is optimistic about the future, saying that W.O.W would love to help people in the community if time allows. For now, the group plans to stick with presentations twice a week, which, Mrs. Parrett notices, is “helping the thought process.”

W.O.W not only teaches young girls how to communicate with other people through guest speakers, but it also informs them about life skills such as kindness, confidence, and focus. Especially with the hard adjustment from middle school to high school, W.O.W is exactly what every freshman girl needs in their first year.