International Club Fosters Discussion and Celebration of Culture

Jeanica Mbuyi ’25, Rebeca Baloci ’25, and Sephora Bikoli ’25 establish International Club to make the City High international community have a safe space to hang out and get to know each other


Lulu Roarick

International club students take their bows after a completed rehearsal

Lulu Roarick and Marina Escandell

Starting this year, the International Club has finally been established, a dream come true for Maria Velina McTaggart, the ELL Instructor at City High. She has wanted an international club for years but had not yet seen the passion from students until this year. 

“[The purpose is f]or kids to get to know one another and learn about their background, their cultures, and their heritage. Then they share it with everybody. This club is not just for ELL, we want to expand it and make it available to every kid in school because we all come from different backgrounds. For them to come and share and teach us what they do, how they celebrate. I think that’d be a great experience for everyone to know,” McTaggart said. 

Johana Ramirez ’23 steps on to stage during International Club Fashion Show rehearsal

International Club meets Friday during Advisory in room 3105 and is open to all students. The goal is to share and discuss the City High Communities’ respective cultures, through food, clothing, and traditions.

“We try to meet every Friday during advisory and we’ve been very successful,” McTaggart said. “I have a very small classroom and sometimes we have to stand. So we’ve been trying to see if we can find a bigger classroom. We haven’t just yet, but we’ll see how that will come along.”

The club was launched by Jeanica Mbuyi ‘25, who saw a need for this space for students to share and discuss their backgrounds. 

“It’s an opportunity for people to share their culture because it’s something that I didn’t really get a chance to do when I first came to America,” Mbuyi said. 

Left to Right: Maria McTaggart, Jeanica Mbuyi ’25, Sephora Bikoli ’25, and Miamen Elawad ’25 discuss plans for a cultural showing later this year.

Future goals for the International Club are a cultural showing event this spring, and to find a bigger space to accommodate all the students interested comfortably. 

“Everyone should have the opportunity to show their culture, where they’re from, and a little bit of their personality. It’s that mix that shows us a little bit about the personality and their insights [on respective cultures]” 

To get in contact with International club, email [email protected] and follow the club on Instagram: @city_high_culture_club_2025.