Students can find comfort and unity in the United Prayer Club


The logo sign for the United Prayer club

The United Prayer Club is a place where anybody can find their own space, as well as make sure others have theirs. It’s a room of people caring and strengthening each other. When somebody’s world is turned upside down or they have good news to share, there’s time for everybody else to listen and support.

English teacher Robbin DeMeester understands how much students want to participate in something like this, and if there’s a prayer or a bit of love needed, she wants to be there to provide the environment and support that people want. She also believes that it’s not about what faith people come from—it’s about coming together and praying for each other to help in whatever someone else is facing.

“They’re more concerned about having a space where kids can meet and share problems of the week,” DeMeester said. “It was just started to be a source of encouragement for kids in school that need it or want [it].”

Joining the club is also a great time for meeting strangers and having the spirit to develop lasting friendships, at least that’s what senior Jack McNamara would agree with. He hopes for people to get in the habit of taking time for themselves to associate with those they wouldn’t expect to speak to.

“It’s a great way to get to know some of your classmates [you] might not normally talk to,” Jack said.

Ever since Jack was a freshman, his parents were told that he was a person owning faith, and eventually, he immersed himself in spending time with others. He has been a part of United Prayer from his freshman year until now. When he was a junior, he was invited to be the club’s leader along with two other students.

I really enjoy being with those people [in] an open environment.

— Jack McNamara

“I really enjoy being with those people [in] an open environment,” Jack said. “Ever since then, I’ve been going [in] my freshman year, sophomore year, and then [for my] junior year, they didn’t have any leaders for next year, so they had [seniors] Grace [Hudkins], Gavin [O’Meara], and I take over for [a] second year.”

DeMeester and Jack hope that students are able to find an interest to join the club and end up feeling like they had come to the right place to have quality time with others, learn life virtues, and find a way to build encouragement around the room.

“Try it,” DeMeester said. “We always have fun little snack. Jack, Gavin, or Grace will give a little talk. They talk about patience. Then, we share a joy or something that was hard during the week.”

Although the club is led by a group of students, there needs to be a staff member who need to pay attention to how these students have their own ideas of what the program should contain. This is also the time for teachers to experience students’ leadership skills.

“It’s a student led club,” DeMeester said. “But anytime a student wants to start a club at the high school, they have to have someone on staff that is, at least sitting, in [on] each meeting, so that they show there’s an adult present.”

Furthermore, there’s many things that can be freely shared in the room with everyone taking the time to listen in and hear what someone needs to say. Whatever it is, there’s always room for everyone to look for the necessity to pray and find that there is space for happiness. This is the kind of impact that DeMeester hopes to fulfill in kids.

“You could sit and share things [like] a hard test that you didn’t do well on, or a parent going through a divorce,” DeMeester said, “or a joy that you had, that you got into a college that you wanted.”

The United Prayer Club is meant to help students freely express emotions. It’s somewhere where everybody can synchronize sentimental experiences with each other and try to understand each other’s feelings.

This is also something that senior Grace Hudkins would describe in four simple words.

“Open, fun, laugh, [and] cry,” Grace said.