Service and Leadership
Empowering students to serve and lead in the community—both within and beyond the campus—is integral to preparing them for successful and fulfilling futures. Through participation in these various offerings, Westmark Lions develop into confident, resilient young adults who are prepared to take on the challenges of an evolving world.
During the school year, small groups of Upper School students attend leadership or diversity conferences—such as the National Association of Independent Schools (NAIS) Student Diversity Leadership Conference (SDLC) or Close Up’s Community Impact Symposium: Race, Justice, and Equity—to develop their social justice practice and learn about allyship and community building. Following the conference, the students lead assemblies and activities to educate their peers about what they learned.
Westmark is proud to host a chapter of the national mentorship program Eye to Eye. As part of the program, Grades 9–12 mentors meet weekly after school with Grades 4–8 mentees. Using art to help students understand and embrace their learning differences, Eye to Eye is a rewarding opportunity for mentors to serve as positive role models and for mentees to develop self-esteem, self-determination, and self-advocacy.
Westmark is also relaunching its Big Lion, Little Lion mentorship program, which pairs Upper School students of color with Lower and Middle School students of color. Through arts, crafts, and games, mentors provide guidance and shared experiences while discussing issues related to identity and diversity.
Service learning at Westmark encourages students to tackle an issue at the local, national, or global level. Requirements vary by division. Grades 11–12 students can also choose to participate in a weeklong international service trip. Working directly with community organizations like Big Sunday, Valley of Change, and LA Family Housing, students broaden their perspectives, enhance their organizational and interpersonal skills, and learn to be responsible members of society.
Westmark’s division-specific Student Councils are pivotal to maintaining Lion pride and a strong sense of community. Upper School Student Council consists of elected grade-level representatives and an executive team. Together, they help organize and implement Spirit Weeks, Homecoming, donation drives, dances, and the beloved annual food truck lunch. Middle School Student Council is made up of volunteers from each grade who are instrumental in organizing the division’s regular themed socials and mixers. Grade 5 students make up the Lower School Student Council. During weekly meetings, they vote to decide what community-building work they will embark upon, from making birthday cards for staff to hosting arts activities during lunch.
Being a mentor in the Eye to Eye program has been such a rewarding experience because I am able to help the kids younger than me embrace their learning differences in such a fun and creative way through art.
Class of 2025