By Natalie ’24
Hi everyone! My name is Natalie, and I am a sophomore at the Upper School. As of this year, I am a member of the HackHW Leadership Team. Our job: organize a 48-hour overnight Game Jam in which about 50-60 students will design, program, and present a video game while camping out in the Upper School’s library. As a part of this team, I have the unique opportunity to be a part of creating an almost entirely student-run event. So, let me tell you about it.
As a new member of the leadership team, the idea of creating an event practically from scratch was extremely intimidating. Honestly, I was initially quite surprised that HW even allowed students to organize events on their own. However, Harvard-Westlake’s administration and faculty made the approval and organizational process as streamlined and straightforward as possible. Everyone was more than happy to arrange meetings or respond to emails regarding the logistics about the event. We even were lucky enough to receive some funding for food at the event. While organizing the Game Jam, I was continually shocked and gratified to see how much HW supports student initiative.
However, given the amount of faith that Harvard-Westlake puts into the abilities of its students on a daily basis, that support should not have been a surprise. Through programs like HW Venture’s Incubator, where students create, refine, and launch their own start-ups, and the Coro X HW Civic Leadership Program, in which students meet public officials and nonprofit leaders, Harvard-Westlake demonstrates its support for the goals and passions of its students. No matter what you are interested in or what you want to take away from your experience at Harvard-Westlake, there is a program, club, or extracurricular that will help you achieve it.