SOFS brings women empowerment to OHS


Photo by Ananya Thekkemelepatt

Julia Martin (left), senior, Ananya Iyer (middle), senior, and Tala Shammas (right), junior, present a presentation on the overturn of Roe v. Wade and its effects on women.

Ananya Thekkemelepatt, News Editor

OHS has a diverse selection of organizations to be a part of, all with different missions and goals. The Society of Female Scholars is one of them, centered around female empowerment and academia.

SOFS was resumed last year after being put on hold due to COVID-19. After some time without the society, girls at OHS decided it was time to bring it back.

“We had a lot of girls that were interested, excited to have a place to meet and provide support with girls that are high-achieving, hardworking,” said Sara StollarYates, club advisor.

This club is geared towards girls that have proven they strive for excellence in their academics. Based on grades, junior and senior girls are sent a letter inviting them to the society.

“There is a minimum requirement of a GPA of 3.5,” StollarYates said. “Part of the goal is to provide support for girls that have academic excellence because [there is] an academic and social support you need to perform at that level.”

As the news spread about the organization restarting, many girls became curious about SOFS.

“I really liked what it stood for…a club that promotes what it does,” said Julia Martin, senior. “It was cool to see other people recognize the struggles women can face in education.”

The re-establishment of SOFS has allowed these girls to connect to people that have similar goals and a mutual understanding of the struggles they face.

“I liked the idea of a community of like-minded individuals that I could relate to and form a community with,” said Maehur Aulakh, junior.

But SOFS is not just focused on OHS alone. They have made it a goal to discuss social justice issues that are affecting women around the world, as well. 

“We’re looking to empower each other as well as spread awareness about current issues happening around the world,” Aulakh said. “In one of our meetings we discussed the current situation in Iran which was really eye-opening for a lot of us.”

Along with learning about women’s issues internationally, the society intends to aid women in need in the community.

“We also have plan[s for a] women’s drive like we did last year,” Martin said. “Also to spread some positivity to our female teachers through gifts…our Valentine’s Day baskets for our lovely teachers.”

Spreading their impact through the community, the club also offers opportunities to connect with women in professional fields the OHS girls are interested in advancing in.

“We had Hiral Tipirneni, [a local physician and politician], come and sp[ea]k at the end of the year last year, she spoke a lot about having a mission and a goal to strive for,” StollarYates said.

With so many goals, so many girls, and so many upcoming projects, the club has made sure it covers all possible aspects of women and women empowerment at OHS.

“I hope that it provides a place for girls that are driven and goal-oriented and to have a place where they have support from other girls and from faculty,” StollarYates said. “And also recognize that they should and need to give back to the community that has supported them and helped them and make connections.”