Photo courtesy of Samantha Stern

Communications junior and Latin Hispanic Heritage Club President Catalina Correa stands with vocal junior Diana Parra at their table during the 2017 Club Rush. The aim of the club is to provide space for those with Hispanic or Latin heritage to meet and share their experiences. “It allows people to see that Dreyfoos actually is a diverse place,” Correa said. “It also lets Latino students know that they're not alone.”

According to U.S. News, Dreyfoos has an overwhelmingly white population, the statistic coming in at 67%. However, there are almost three times fewer Hispanic students,  at 22%, and 10% for black students. There are only small pockets of these minorities here at Dreyfoos, and students of these heritages can sometimes feel a disconnect from who they are. The loss of culture that comes from not having people around you with those same experiences can cause students to feel as if they are losing a significant part of themselves. The Black Student Union (BSU) and the Latin Hispanic Heritage Club offer a great solution by giving these minorities a place to where they are surrounded around people like them.

BSU and the Latin Hispanic Heritage Club are two different clubs that represent the fight against the gradual loss of culture that Dreyfoos faces. They strive to offer a place for students of black or Hispanic heritage (respectively) to interact with other students that have gone through similar experiences. Students and sponsors in both clubs shared their experiences with why the clubs are important, and how the club keeps their culture alive.


Piano senior and BSU historian Emily Johnstone


Q: What does BSU mean to you?


“BSU means quite a bit to me and all the other officers that help run it. We push for everything we need and want to get accomplished. It’s an amazing club that I hope will keep prospering after my class leaves.”


Q: How is the culture at Dreyfoos preserved by the BSU?


“This year there weren’t many black teachers, so that is probably one of the only things we can’t control in the way of black culture at Dreyfoos, but we make sure to get out there and do festivities for all black holidays and Black History Month especially.”


Communications sophomore Emily Elias (BSU Member)


Q: What does being in BSU mean to you?


“Being [a member of] BSU means uplifting and empowering others within the community. It means enjoying the company of like-minded individuals focused on educating others. It means having dance parties and performances to know each other better. It means helping each other out and being a team player. It means finding a club that is the physical embodiment of Issa Rae’s statement at the Emmys: ‘I’m rooting for everybody black.’”


Q: Why is preserving the culture here at Dreyfoos important to you?


“It’s important because Dreyfoos encourages you to be yourself no matter how out there it is; Dreyfoos will find a place for it and ensure it flourishes.”


Communications Junior and Latin Hispanic Heritage Club President Catalina Correa


Q: What does the Latin Hispanic Heritage Club do and why is it important?


“Students that attend Dreyfoos tend to showcase their roots and culture through their art. I feel like it is a good way to show their passion for their background in the community. [The club] is important because it allows students from a similar background to find each other out and build their own community within Dreyfoos. Dreyfoos being majority Caucasian, I feel like minorities kind of link up together and provide a family for each other, as well as providing community service. You can also find friends you can relate to.”


Q: How do you showcase Latin culture and preserve it here at Dreyfoos?


“Our main action of showcasing Latin culture is through our multicultural show. The show pops the Dreyfoos bubble and lets them explore different cultures. [Students not of Hispanic heritage] realize that it is not just West Palm Beach and South Florida itself; it is a single, homogenous culture.”


English teacher and BSU/Latin Hispanic Heritage Club sponsor Nieves Lopez


Q: What is it like working with both BSU and the Latin Hispanic Heritage Club?


“I love working with the kids. It has been a wonderful experience. They both have the fact that they are minorities, that is what they both have in common, but there is a lot of intersectionality between the two, but [being both clubs’ sponsors] has been really fun.”


Q: How do both clubs preserve the culture here at Dreyfoos, and why are the clubs important?


“[Both of the clubs] preserve the culture in that they continue to establish a presence, [which is a] presence that says ‘I am here, listen.’  They give a voice to those minority students and even if it’s not a strident voice, they known that they have a place where they can come together and share in their culture, and common language, and their customs, and their frustrations and issues, and joys, and seeking the truth, about whatever the truth is.”


Q: How do the Black Student Union and Multicultural shows preserve the culture at Dreyfoos?


“The shows bring the whole school together. The multicultural, the year before, brought the whole school together. [This year] what we tried to do was to present all aspects of [black] culture, and the struggles and the joys, and the triumphs, and tried to end it all on a positive note: togetherness, equality, diversity.”