Reach Out Hangouts continue to make a difference over Zoom

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Swaraali Save

Many people continue to enjoy Reach Out Hangouts online. “When you attend the hangout, you get the feelings of gratitude and the overall, wow this really changed my life in some way, shape, or form,” Sohie Pal, a junior, said.

Carlmont’s ASB Reach Out Commission has adapted in-person Reach Out Hangouts to a bimonthly online format over Zoom. 

Many members have realized the importance of the hangouts and are thrilled to continue hosting them, despite the adaptations. 

Liam Dowling, a senior, said, “Reach Out Hangouts were originally made as a way to help students who might have trouble making friends or might feel awkward meeting new people. Reach Out is an amazing, socially inclusive space where everyone can come, meet new friends, and get to know each other.” 

In the past, Reach Out Hangouts would happen after school on Fridays. Many students would stop by following their after-school activities. 

“They used to be free-range. We would have the whole ASB room opened up, and we would have food and games. People could also go outside and have fun,” Sohie Pal, a junior, said.  

After being online for several months, the group has established a good rhythm with their activities. 

“Online, it’s a little bit more structured. We usually play virtual games and try to foster as much interaction as we can over Zoom,” Pal said. “Skribble.io, Kahoot!, and scavenger hunts are all popular activities.” 

In some ways, the need for Reach Out Hangouts has increased with online learning. Many members of the Reach Out Commission observed that students are very appreciative. 

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“Social interaction for everybody has been pretty limited with the pandemic. For many people, it’s been school, sleep, school, sleep. With the Reached Out Hangouts, I have heard a lot of students say that they love being able to talk to people and see people outside of a school environment,” Pal said. 

Each hangout is centered around a different theme with a group activity and smaller activities. 

Katherine Yu, a sophomore, said, “There’s a wide range of activities. It’s actually really fun because they mix it up a lot, and they also do special holiday editions. One of my favorites was an art-themed one where they lead us through a Bob Ross tutorial.” 

Aside from the main activity, students can go into breakout rooms for some more personal activities. 

“For the first half-hour, we do structured activities, then the last half of the hangout is more unstructured. There are four or five different breakout rooms that people can choose from, and they can do whatever they want. I think it’s a good way for people to meet new friends and do what they enjoy,” Dowling said.

Despite these trying times, the Reach Out Hangouts are a great way to get involved in the Carlmont community.

Dowling said, “If this sounds like something you’re interested in feel free to reach out to me or anyone in ASB, and we’ll try to make it so you can come to the hangouts. It’s a really rewarding experience, so if you have any desire at all, I’d recommend checking it out.” 

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