The Youthaiti club changed its name to French without Borders in order to expand the focus of the club. “We are trying to encompass more things relating to French culture,” said Katherine Johnson, senior and co-president. “Youthaiti is still part of it, … but we just want to make it more inclusive.”
Every other Wednesday, French Without Borders meets to hear guest speakers, watch French movies and plan fundraisers and events.“I like to think of it as celebrating all things French,” said Christine Jacaquart, .
“There used to be a French Without Borders but it kind of just fell out,” Johnson said. “Madame [Jacaquart] thought it would be a good idea to bring it back.”
A large component of the new club is the available tutoring service to other students in French.“Anybody can come in and get tutored. We will connect an AP student or French IV student with a younger student,” Jacaquart said. “It is a nice service to our local community and our school.”
Shorewood’s chapter of Youthaiti was started in 2008 when the founder of the Youthaiti Organization in Milwaukee gave a talk at the high school. “[The talk] made me think, this is a country where French is spoken and it’s in our hemisphere and I know there is something we can do,” Jacaquart said.
The club gave announcements to raise awareness about the problems facing Haiti and then donate money to the efforts of the Milwaukee organization.
“At the end of every year we would give them all the money we had raised by selling crepes because they use the money for the actual sanitation stuff in Haiti,” said Natalie Dess, senior and co-president.
The money French Without Border raises will still be donated to Haiti; however, the club is also focused on sharing the culture and history of French countries around the globe.
According, to Sophie D’Amato, freshman, this is one of the club’s attractions. “I joined the club because I really like French,” D’Amato said. “I want to learn more about the culture.” According to Dess, the club hopes to grow over the next year.
“We want to see a more widespread presence of the students,” Dess said. “It’s mostly been seniors and juniors, … so we are trying to reach out to freshman and sophomores.” Both Dess and Johnson will be graduating in the spring and Jacaquart hopes new leadership can be found by then.
“We are looking for younger, newer members to take what good work has been down and improve upon it and keep the legacy going,” Jacaquart said.