High schoolers without boundaries


Junior Co-founder Sarika Shah works hard at school to reach her goal of being admitted to medical school and becoming a psychiatrist (Caitlin Somerville).

What does it take to start a club at Mercy? For juniors Sarika Shah and Nimesha Liyanage, it took an idea, planning, ambition, and administrative approval. Now High Schoolers Without Boundaries, a club focused on the medical field and healthy living, is among the newest additions to Mercy’s extracurriculars.

The club is open to everyone, and members are required to attend three of the five meetings each semester. Meeting dates and times are to be determined as the club is separate from the A and B club days. Shah’s hopes for the club include various speakers, volunteer opportunities at hospitals, and using some of Mercy’s unoccupied land for a garden. Liyanage just hopes that people are interested in joining.

“I think the club could really good for us to expand our horizons and make an impact,” Liyanage said.

Liyanage was inspired by a segment on medicinal gardens that was taught in former teacher Ms. Katie Callan’s health class her sophomore year. Shah realized just how competitive the medical field had become after attending a National Youth Leadership Forum on medicine and determined that it would take more than good grades to stand out.

“It hit me that I wanted to get involved in Mercy and make a difference,” she said. “I was thinking about how I could help others and myself at the same time.”

Over the summer, co-founders Shah and Liyanage collaborated and emailed administration with their plan. On the receiving end, Dean of Student Affairs Ms. Eleasha Tarplin was impressed by the idea.

“We don’t have a club like that here, and I would like to see the students getting involved in a field they would like to pursue,” she said.

Ms. Eleasha Tarplin and administration approved of their idea, and science teacher Ms. Lisa Wilson agreed to be the club moderator, though she doesn’t expect to get too involved.

“From what I understand, I’m more of a figurehead,” said Ms. Wilson. “The students are leading it. I’m simply there to help out when needed.”

For more information about High Schoolers Without Boundaries, contact Shah at [email protected] or Liyanage at [email protected].