What on earth is happening to the Earth? And what can you do about it? The Sacred Heart Preparatory (SHP) Student Speakers Bureau seeks to provide the answers at its inaugural schoolwide event, “Preserving Our Sublime Earth,” the first of a new monthly series on campus.
Slated to host is SHP AP environmental science teacher Mike Judge; speakers include Citizens’ Climate Lobby member Elaine Salinger, bioenergy expert Shamir Hyman, physicist Daniel Lottis, and conservation advocate Samira Khan. The event will take place at Sacred Heart Schools, Atherton (SHS) on Thursday, September 29th in Harman Family Assembly Hall from 7:00 p.m. to 8:15 p.m. The event is open to SHS families, friends, and community members. Register here
The bureau has two additional upcoming talks scheduled. On offer in October is: “Public Service and the Common Good;” and in November: “Happiness and the Good Life.”
The purpose of the group is to foster “growth through exposure,” says Natasha Bamdad (SHP ’24), the bureau’s vice president of marketing. “It’s a matter of creating more connections in our community—when you’re sharing your perspective, you’re opening other people’s minds.”
Expanding on that idea, bureau member Martin Freeland (SHP ’23) said, “That includes bringing speakers from broad as well as more specialized fields, to expand the horizons of the student body and expose students to potential career paths.”
The bureau began as an idea between a handful of students last spring semester. One early bureau member and current co-president Alexander Medel, (SHP ’23), spent his winter break drafting the group’s 10-page constitution, based on elements from the Federalist Papers, along with a charter and guidelines.
In recruiting its first 18 members, the group ensured “each SHP club, affinity space, and student organization had representation on the bureau,” says co-president Armin Hamrah, (SHP ’23).
“Part of our mission is to bring in speakers for other clubs and student organizations, and we aim to streamline that process,” said Hamrah.
The group has so far handled such logistics for several student organizations. Past speakers include astrophysicist Taweewat Somboonpanyakul, Ph.D., award-winning journalist Claudine Wong, and refugees speaking on the war in Ukraine.
The bureau now has over 20 student members and growing. “We’re charting into a space not previously created at Sacred Heart,” says member Julia Birdwell (SHP ’23). “It takes a lot of out-of-the-box thinking—there’s a lot of innovation and creativity in terms of building our structure, our leadership, and organization.”
Echoes Freeland, “The sky’s the limit, the more speakers we can bring to campus, and the broader their background, the happier we are.”