A Feel for Citizenship: Rho Kappa’s Voter Registration Drive


Sophia Lopez, Staff Writer


   On Wednesday afternoon, boxes were brought to Mrs. Hyacinth’s room and stacked in the corner. Inside, they were filled with water bottles and lanyards: preparations for the event that would take place over the next few days. She, along with the honor society Rho Kappa, are responsible for overseeing and promoting voter registration here at Pembroke Pines Charter High School.

   Derived from Semitic origin,  rho means head, and kappa means palm of hand. Together they symbolize Rho Kappa, the belief “knowledge without service is useless.”  It was brought to the school 5 years ago, and in the words of Mr. Curry, the AICE A Level US History teacher,

 “A group of students initiated Rho Kappa, because they noticed we have an honor society for all the other subjects, except for social studies,” he says proudly, “Once I informed them about the existing Rho Kappa, they did all the necessary research to start a new chapter and bring the club to our school.” 

   2 years later, the club responsibility was given to Ms. Hyacinth, who has been teaching at Pembroke Pines Charter High School for 17 years, and teaching AP Government and Economics for 6 years. In her words, “The purpose of Rho Kappa is to encourage civic involvement in the community,” 

   From writing letters to troops during the holidays to managing the Angel Tree, Rho Kappa fulfills their objective of giving back to the community. They collaborate with other organizations such as the school’s Muslim Student Association and the Black Student Union for events such as Genocide Awareness Week and the BSU showcase, providing hours for Rho Kappa members attending. An ominous Jack-the-Ripper themed Mystery Dinner held in the cafeteria, and a historical escape room in Ms. Schwab’s room are just two of the many interactive events offered by the society. 

   When COVID-19 and the digitalization of high school proved to be a big setback for many clubs, Rho Kappa took to social media and posted history themed content daily on Instagram throughout quarantine. Now, Hyacinth ensures Rho Kappa is back on track, and to expect much more the following year. 

   An annual event highly regarded by Rho Kappa is the pre-voter registration drive. A Broward county Supervisor of Elections is on campus for two days, walking through the registration steps to the eligible. Being a US Citizen that is 16 years of age or older, and having any sort of Florida identification such as a learner’s permit, license, or the last 4 social security number digits are the only requirements needed to qualify. Those who register get a free water bottle and lanyard. 

“It’s one less thing to complete upon turning 18, when you have other things to worry about like college,” Hyacinth explains, “It won’t be on your plate anymore.” 

   A competition among high schools of similar sizes is held, to see who can obtain the highest number of registrations. Each school has their own methods of encouragement, including Charter. A tradition traced back to 2016, Charter students in AP Government display their support through colorful voting-themed t-shirts. Pembroke Pines Charter High School won the competition in 2020; the trophy is proudly exhibited in the front office. 

   Mrs. Rudd, the AICE International History Teacher, also likes the idea of an early introduction to the voting system. “As a social studies teacher, one of my most important jobs is to make sure that my students are engaged in elections. I hope all of my students will vote in the future when it’s their chance, it’s one of [their] most important duties as an American.”

   To those interested, “Rho Kappa is a great opportunity to meet with other students that have similar passions and make a difference in your community,” says Hyacinth proudly. 

   The next club President, Vice President, Secretary, Treasurer, Social Media manager, and Historian will be determined through the officer applications coming the following year. 

Follow them on Instagram: @ppchsrhokappa