Why should Morgan Park Academy students get involved in athletics, clubs, arts, and other school activities?

A big reason that families choose to send their children to MPA is a small-school environment that provides the opportunity to try many different activities. Often that club or sports team or musical production will be an activity to bring you lifelong friends or help guide you to your chosen profession.

Here are my Top 10 reasons why all MPA students should get involved outside the classroom:

10. Use your time in Middle and Upper School to find something you might be passionate about. Your passion does not have to become your career, but it could become a lifelong interest.

9. You can participate. MPA is a small school and everything from sports teams to the Model UN team are always looking for students to help make the group more well-rounded.

8. Resume-building — and not the traditional resume-building. Don’t join a group just to build a college resume. The resume should have more than a list of clubs or teams you were on, but moreover, information about how you led that group or initiatives you helped to accomplish.

7. Build up the school community. Every school has a culture that it reflects and that culture comes from the students in the school. A small school like MPA looks to the students to be a big part of the community building. My frequent message to students is that your school experience often is what you make it.

6. Fun. There’s at least one club or activity at MPA where you’ll have fun. Go find it.

5. Preparing for life after school. Joining opportunities like Service Club or Mock Trial prepares you for real-world opportunities.

4. Develop “soft skills” or what used to be called “people skills.” Joining the different groups on campus give you a chance to work with different teachers and students and at MPA you will have the opportunity to get out into the world and meet professionals working in related fields.

3. Improve your SAT scores. According to the College Board, “participation in extracurricular activities provides all students … a measurable and meaningful gain in their college admissions test scores.”

2. Leadership skills. By being part of any group there is a chance for every student to learn from a student leader and then take the mantle of student leader as well.

1. Self-discovery. You will learn about yourself and what you are good at or what you may need work in. You will find a passion or try something you know you never need to try again.

By Daniel Peters

Mr. Peters is our Director of Student Life. He also teaches history and is Middle School assistant principal.