Multicultural Club Bounces Back after Adversity

Lily Nguyen also contributed to this article.

Malden High School’s Multicultural Club is out to make a difference in the lives of students by bringing them together. Started in 2011 by an eager group of students aided by English department teacher-leader and club advisor Yahira Marquez, it has been a long-standing club at the school.

Marquez explained that before its inception, the school “didn’t really do anything to celebrate the cultures” that constitute the school’s diverse community, so these students came together in hopes of filling in this gap. Ever since the club has thrived for many years.

Unfortunately, last year, the club did not have much student engagement. Due to not enough people committed to planning it, Multicultural Night—one of the school’s largest events held every May—was canceled. 

However, this year is different. With new members and an ambitious leadership committee, Marquez hopes to lead the Multicultural Club toward a productive year. Sienna Hoang, a junior in the club’s leadership committee, expressed that the club provides the opportunity to “learn more about different cultures and different places that people come from because it is always good to learn about different cultures and educate myself on other people's traditions,” making it important that the event is hosted this school year.

To do so, the club’s work for the first semester aligns with the main aspect of the club which they “teach and learn about each other's cultures.” Marquez referenced that during meetings this semester, they have learned basic phrases in different languages, practiced traditional dances, and made cultural foods like spring rolls and Brigadeiro, as ways of embracing fellow members’ cultural diversity.

A photo of the Annual Multicultural Event hosted in 2019. Taken from @mayorofmalden Mayor Gary Christenson’s Instagram. 

Junior Amber Benfield, who is from Guyana, felt that “not many people know about my country,” so she believes in, “joining the club to shine a light on the country and its culture.” With that, she plans to be wholly involved in making sure that Multicultural Night happens by “volunteering for fundraisers and bake sales and doing anything that I am able to do to help the club.”

After a semester of learning about other cultures, the second semester involves planning for the special event in May. The club envisions Multicultural Night as students, staff, faculty, and beyond “coming together at Malden High to celebrate their individual cultures with one another.” During this event, food, clothing, dances, music, and more were shared, allowing everyone a glimpse into the cultural backgrounds of everyone around them.

Marquez emphasized that hosting the event takes a lot of time and effort—“it requires all hands on deck in order for it to happen.” She has high hopes that they will succeed this year with the club’s new members and dedicated leadership committee. 

Benfield stated that as a club member, she hopes to be able to fundraise enough money and have as many people as possible to be able to have Multicultural Night, and also “to make a memorable festive day where everyone can have fun and show off their culture.” The club as a whole also plans to collaborate with other clubs at the school to earn enough money for amenities like food trucks and vendors that night.

Overall, the Multicultural Club is excited to grow this year in the hopes of hosting a great celebration later this school year. For those interested in becoming active members of the club stop by Marquez’s room J282, or go to, create an account, and use the code 7f9hfdh.

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