Clubs & Activities

From Speech & Debate to Feed the Hungry to our renowned Chrysalis publication team … from Ski Club to International Thespian Society, at MPS there are countless ways for Lakers to embrace their individual talents among a team of friends and mentors. Beyond the classroom, Laker Life is evident each day as our nearly 40 clubs and activities are in full gear year round.

At MPS each student finds his voice as he finds his place among our diverse student population.  A Laker finds or creates clubs and activities to suite his taste and style. At MPS we encourage students to create opportunities and work with fellow students to enhance their high school experiences. Lakers’ interests are unique and varied, so we offer dozens of leadership, service, arts and athletics clubs:

MPS Clubs & Activities

Anne Ryan Baltimore Mission Trip is an exciting service opportunity. This annual trip has long been a galvanizing experience for each group of rising seniors fortunate enough to attend. This is an opportunity to feed the hungry and care for the city’s underprivileged under the auspices of Catholic Services. Paula Allshouse

Business Club will meet to help interested students learn about money management and business concepts. Members will explore current economic trends and study investment opportunities. Doug Bakka

Calamari’s Thanksgiving Dinner for the Homeless presents a service opportunity for all members of the MPS community. Students gather all the makings for a Thanksgiving meal including the dinnerware and help prepare and serve the meal to more than a thousand homeless from our community on Thanksgiving Day at Calamari’s. Student leaders arrange the funding and schedule all of the helpers. This has become a holiday tradition for many of the MPS families. Paula Dworakowski

Chrysalis is the award-winning literary and art magazine for Mercyhurst Prep. Members collect prose, poetry, art, and photographs from Lakers and select the best of the works for publication. They develop a theme, edit works, design the format and layout, and publish and distribute the magazine. Bridget Whalen

Concert Choir is a performing arts class designed for any Laker with the desire and the discipline to sing challenging vocal repertoire.   Music preparation includes performances at Mercyhurst Prep in the winter and spring seasons. Every other year, the choir travels to Orlando to perform at Walt Disney World.  Arthur Martone and Mike Miele

Critical Concerns is a service organization whose purpose is to educate MPS Lakers about injustices in our community and our world and to provide support to groups that strive for peace and justice.  Matt Ochalek

Dance Company is a performing arts class for the Laker with prior dance training. Students participate in both class and performance activities. Based on an audition, dancers are accepted to a master, advanced, intermediate, or apprentice class and travel to Orlando to perform at Walt Disney World every other year.  Kara Grise and Maryanne Mager-Dombrowski

Feed the Hungry is a join-by-doing group that is totally service oriented. On the second Sunday of each month, Lakers cook and serve a nutritious meal to individuals who are homeless in downtown Erie. Fundraising and collecting materials for the project are ongoing efforts throughout the school year. Matt Ochalek

Fitness Center is open to all MPS Lakers and employees for healthy workouts on a variety of machines including new elliptical and exercise bikes.  Rich Krafty

Language Club is available to all students studying French or Spanish. It offers the opportunity to learn about various Francophone and Hispanic cultures and to explore the food and holidays of those places where French and Spanish are spoken.

International Thespian Society (ITS) promotes and supports the growth and involvement of the MPS community in the area of the performing arts. Laker members give back to the MPS and Erie communities through performance and service. Arthur Martone and Mike Miele

Literature and Writing Club About once a month, students come together, examine a form, style, or genre of literature, and then individually or collaboratively create their own works in the same style. They then share their work with the group.

Mandarin Club is an academic and social club whose purpose is to promote an understanding of Chinese culture by providing students with opportunities to explore the Mandarin language and customs. Members can enjoy Chinese films, food, and pop culture. Calligraphy and Mandarin vocabulary will be practiced at each gathering. Shelly Yu and Debbie Kooser

Math Club Lakers discuss topics of math that are not covered in standard courses or elaborate on and apply mathematics that has been studied during school. The Math Club offers opportunities to compete outside of school. Katrin Ayrapetov

Mercy Service Group The Mercy Service Group is an MPS student-led volunteer group that focuses on service opportunities in the Erie community. Students participate in monthly commitments such as helping with a local Thanksgiving dinner for the hungry, running a Christmas toy drive for various organizations that help children, making valentines for children in hospitals, and helping local animal shelters. Commitment to service and helping Erie are always part of our Mercy mission, and everyone is invited to be a part of this dedicated group. Nicole Brugger and Debby Swanson

Minecraft is a game club where Lakers come together and enjoy playing all types of board, card games, and RPGs (role playing games). Come learn new games that you never knew existed.  Everyone is invited to participate. Teresa Corso

Model United Nations is an academic club where Lakers have an opportunity to participate in a simulated UN General Assembly. The basic purpose is an in-depth study of another nation along with the analysis and appreciation of its perspective on global issues and negotiation. Members have opportunities to develop extemporaneous speech skills. Nicole Brugger

National Art Honor Society aspires to recognize Lakers who have shown outstanding ability in art. It aims to further the creative abilities and talents of the Society’s members as well as the school’s entire art enrollment.  Dave Schroeck

National Honor Society is a group of academically oriented Lakers who maintain a QPA of 3.5 or above. National Honor Society members provide service to Mercyhurst Prep and the Erie community while maintaining high academic, character, and leadership standards. Jane Fisher

Ophelia works to create an environment in which each person can develop a positive sense of self by promoting kindness and respect. The club empowers members of the younger generation to respect themselves and others by educating middle school students about Relational Aggression.  Kerry Sedelmeyer

Orchestra is a performing arts class for competent Laker instrumentalists who perform for liturgies,school musicals, and the Christmas and spring concerts. Mike Miele

Robotics and Technology Club members learn how to use a 3D printer and teach others to do the same. Members learn and use modeling software to develop individual projects with state- of-the-art technology to be shared in global seminars. Sean Baer

Show Choir is a performing arts class designed to teach Lakers how to combine the art of dance with singing. Show Choir performs for various Mercyhurst Prep and community events and travels to Orlando to perform at Walt Disney World every other year. Arthur Martone and Maryanne Mager-Dombrowski

Ski Club members travel to enjoy the winter sports of skiing or snowboarding at Peek ‘n Peak Resort. Bus transportation and ski instruction are available to Laker Ski Club members.  Tim Hurst

Speech & Debate is an academic organization offering Lakers the opportunity to test their talents at local, regional, and national levels. Through dedicated coaching, MPS students learn memorization, research, and speaking skills. Lakers compete against other schools and students for scholarship money and recognition. Ryan Maloney

Spirit Club is comprised of Lakers who are definitely marked by pride and spirit and show it with great enthusiasm by forming an extreme cheering section to support Laker teams during competitions. Debbie Kooser

Student Council/Student Government is an elected body of Laker leaders who serve as a liaison among administration, faculty, and students. They develop good citizenship, service and human values through significant leadership experiences initiated and executed by students.  Deborah Kooser

Students For Life Matt Ochalek

Travel Club members meet to discuss everything related to travel such as passports, currency exchange, tipping, packing, etc. During the annual Easter break every year, Lakers may travel abroad as a cultural study group during Easter break.  Past trips have seen Lakers travel to Spain, Italy, France, England, China, and other countries. Theresa Wyman

Ultimate Frisbee Club promotes the development of Frisbee skills and teamwork. Any Laker is invited to participate; no experience is necessary. Along with practices and scrimmages, the team competes in games and tournaments against local teams. Rich Krafty

Women in Motion is a Mercyhurst Prep club created to raise the self-esteem of women and raise awareness of women’s issues often through service-oriented community projects that benefit women. Ashley Adamus

How to Start a Club at Mercyhurst Prep

  • Survey other Lakers to discover if there is an interest in your club.
  • Be able to explain how the goals and activities of your club will support an academic or athletic program or a service mission at MPS.
  • Find a moderator for your club. The moderator must be an adult, but does not necessarily need to be a faculty or staff member.
  • Gather a core group to establish goals, meeting times and other club criteria such as the need for dues or special equipment.
  • Submit your proposal to the Activities Director, Mrs. Deborah Kooser, for approval.

Why Laker Activities and Clubs are Important

University of Illinois sociology professor Chris Lleras, writing for Science Daily, suggested that students who participate in extracurricular activities in high school make more money, complete higher levels of education and enjoy greater career success than their peers who avoid such activities. “Soft Skills” such as social ability, punctuality, conscientiousness and the ability to function on a team serve students well in advancing their career goals and are often determining factors in college and job interviews.

Edward Klesse, a contributing educator/writer for the National Association of Secondary Principals, labeled extracurricular programs the “Third Curriculum.” Sports, theatre, student government and service-oriented clubs allow students to develop time management and prioritization skills. Often these programs provide an extension of learning not possible in the classroom due to time and logistic constraints. Extracurricular programs often stretch individual students to assume responsibility for learning and social events as well as competitive ventures that highlight their talents.

Statistics show that students who participate in extracurricular programs are more motivated in their coursework and have better school attendance. Even the most reluctant student may find success and acceptance within an extracurricular program. Many clubs provide hands-on opportunities to develop special skills such as photography, public speaking and financial investment. When students enter situations where they are working closely with advisors and fellow students who share their interests, they are validated in their shared passion and their vision of school improves significantly.

Co-curricular activities are invitational and nurturing of individual interests. Whether it is Spanish Club, Model U.N., basketball or a prom committee, students can exercise a sense of personal challenge while developing social competency, critical thinking, problem solving, and creativity along with the practical application of their imaginations.