Through clubs and competitions, Melinda Xu finds exciting ways to connect


Through clubs and competition, junior Melinda Xu has found ways to engage herself in activities inside and outside of school that have helped her grow and learn throughout her life. 

“I think something I will never forget is that the first time we had our POC Student Union, I wasn’t sure how many people would show up,” Melinda said. “But there was a lot of discussion, and it gave me confidence [for the future].”  

“There was a lot of discussion, and it gave me confidence [for the future].”

— Melinda Xu

Melinda participates in quite a few different activities during her time at FHC. She competes in HOSA “Health Occupation Students of America,” and the Science Olympiad at FHC. She is also a founding member of the POC student union or the People of color student union. 

Finally, the POC student union is a student-run group that brings together people of color to discuss the cultures and issues of the people of color in our society and in our school. 

“We talk about cultures, and then [we] explore our own school and problems like race issues [and] discrimination,” Melinda said. “Then we come up with ideas of solving that and addressing that.”

HOSA and Science Olympiad are both competitions that test the competitors’ intellect, while the POC student union is a group that gathers together to discuss the current issues facing people of color in and out of school.

HOSA is centered around health and knowledge of health. 

“What [HOSA] is is just a health organization where students gather and they’re all interested in health,” Melinda said. “And then what we do is study for a competition.” 

Science Olympiad is a competition driven by science that challenges students across the nation by offering puzzles and questions to the participants. 

“We study our events and then we work individually but also as a team,” Melinda said. “So we move on as a team but we score individually.”

She’s always been interested in health and science which makes HOSA and Science olympiad a perfect fit for her. In HOSA students do a wide variety of tests for those interested in the medical field. Melinda wanted to explore healthcare so HOSA eventually popped up and instantly grabbed her attention.  

It also serves as a large commitment of time to study, travel, and participate. 

“We’re going to Kalamazoo College to have our competition, and then you gather with other schools and compete with them,” Melinda said. “And it takes up a whole entire day, [so] you have to make sure you have time for that.” 

Science has always been Melinda’s favorite subject. And since she started participating in the Science Olympiad in middle school it seemed only right that she continued in her high school career. 

 Although many of her interests are academic, the POC student union is the perfect opportunity to connect with people through socializing and discussions.

“I wanted to start my own club with my own ideas where I can have my own [creative] freedom,” Melinda said. “I think it’s really important to address what it’s like to be a minority in our school and how we can improve our community.”  

Unfortunately in the second year of the POC student union, it has been slow to get started. But she is eager to get back to what made the club so enjoyable. 

“We would do different things because it’s not competition-based,” Melinda said. “Last year we brought in some speakers to speak about things and we did fun games and some presentations.”   

Melinda thinks it’s important to participate in activities especially if they are student-led. Because they spend so much time and effort trying to make engaging activities to bring students together while trying to make a positive impact on them. 

“It would be nice to have more people to come just to explore new ideas and what’s going on in our school,” Melinda said.