Activities & Organizations

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Castilleja students have dozens of clubs and co-curricular opportunities to choose from. Through these student organizations, girls learn, engage, have fun, and develop hands-on leadership skills.

Many students have started organizations that engage their peers in community action and raise global awareness. Students also lead academic and arts clubs that travel to compete or perform.

Castilleja’s unique schedule has a FLEX period during the regular school day designated for these student-initiated learning and leading opportunities.

The list below is a sampling of some of these organizations. Student Activities & Organizations are truly student-led and student-focused, so naturally opportunities change year-to-year with interest.

Student-Led Organizations

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Ada's Cafe

Ada's Cafe ACE Org is dedicated to fostering a collaboration between Castilleja and Ada’s Cafe in order to cultivate a culture that empowers adults with disabilities and to create lasting friendships between Castilleja students and Ada’s associates.



The Astrophysics Flex Org aims to help fill the void for scientifically motivated students to examine the intersection of cosmology and particle physics in depth.


Bon Appétit

Bon Appétit's mission is to teach second graders and their families at Brentwood Academy in East Palo Alto how to cook delicious, nutritious, and affordable homemade snacks. Our goal is to inspire the Brentwood students to explore new foods and to instill an understanding of the health benefits and the fun behind home-cooking.


Brentwood Buddies

Brentwood Buddies ACE Org supports literacy at Brentwood Elementary School. With an emphasis on reading and tutoring, our goal is to foster meaningful relationships between students from both schools.


Brentwood Creativity Club

Our goal is to foster a love of art and creative thinking in under-resourced students at Brentwood Elementary school by allowing them to explore their own individuality through a club-created curriculum of fun and engaging art projects.



We are committed to creating conversation about justice and social issues with empathy, honesty, and respect; giving visibility to underserved communities and their history; and creating a safe, inclusive environment for all students. We aim to use our knowledge and empathy to provide opportunities for ethical, effective action that fosters equity. This year, Diversity will also be assisting with the affinity group program, hosting an evening series leading up to Diversity week, and serving as the go-to student resource for adults on campus regarding curriculum etc.


Happy Feet!

Our mission is to empower young Brentwood students through physical activity by emphasizing core values which will stay with them for the rest of their lives. In the process, we will give Casti students an opportunity to grow as leaders by planning and leading activities. As a club, we will develop different curriculums that incorporate members’ ideas of ways to positively impact the Brentwood students.

Mock Trial

Castilleja's mock trial club aims to provide members with growth in debate skills, legal experience, and teamwork. Our club provides a unique opportunity for students who are interested in a legal profession to explore their passion and develop their talents.


Rosener House

The Rosener House ACE Organization aims to develop relationships between Castilleja students and the community at the Rosener House as well as raise awareness for Alzheimer’s and Dementia within the Castilleja community.      


SoAct: Castilleja's Social Activism Club

The mission of SoAct is to give students a platform to connect to meaningful organizations and spearhead projects that will make a direct impact on the communities we target in order to elicit social change. Many students, similar to ourselves, learn about different social issues in and out of the classroom; however, we don’t often have the opportunity to make tangible changes in our community. Our club serves as a bridge between the Castilleja community and the global efforts being taken to foster equality and improve living standards.


Team 1700

Team 1700 equips members with entrepreneurial skills such as graphic design, finance, grant and award writing, communications, and more. We inspire students, both on our team and throughout the community, to pursue their passions and become leaders in the STEM world.


Castilleja DECA strives to provide opportunities for students to fully engage in a simulated business and entrepreneurship experience and develop skills in, but not limited to, public speaking, writing, presentations and pitches, teamwork, leadership, confidence, and communication. DECA prepares emerging and passionate leaders and entrepreneurs in marketing, finance, hospitality and management through a hands-on experience of workshops, competitions, and conferences.


Turn it Around

To combine the love of dance and education while giving back to the community to provide students with a form of self-expression.

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BACII is an organization for Castilleja students interested in learning how various fields can make real social change. The mission of BACII is to increase students’ understanding of social justice issues in the Bay Area, with a focus on local issues and how a deepened understanding of the complexities of these local issues can empower young people to make an impact in the community.


BLAST (Booms, Learning, Action, Science, Teamwork)

The mission of BLAST is to provide students with an opportunity to further explore scientific experimentation in a low stress and supportive environment. While much of classroom work is purely theoretically based, our club creates opportunities for applicable examples of experiments. BLAST aims to provide students with an enjoyable experience with Chemistry (and science in general), as well as work to build a positive connotation around experimentation, lab work, and Chemistry.


Brentwood Creativity Club

The Brentwood Creativity Club brings awareness and curiosity for art and creative thinking to students at Brentwood Elementary School by allowing them to explore their own individuality through a club-created curriculum of fun and engaging art projects.



The Castaruni/Free the Children ACE Org strives to strengthen the partnership between Castilleja and Kisaruni School by facilitating cultural exchange and communication between the two schools, and by engaging our community in events that honor our schools' values.


Casti Coders

At Casti Coders our goal is to learn Java programming with the intention of competing at local coding competitions in the spring. We welcome coders of any experience level who are excited about programming.


Casti's Human Rights Watch (HRW)

HRW's mission is to work closely with the Human Rights Watch organization to educate the Castilleja community about global human rights abuses, identify those in a position to address those abuses, and therefore effect change. We see a need for more fact-based awareness of human rights violations, and we see potential to have impact not just through fundraising but through political advocacy, such as letter-writing, petitions, or appealing to our elected officials. Our ACE org would replicate the powerful action model of Human Rights Watch: “Investigate, Expose, and Change.”


Challenge Success

The Challenge Success club is a student-run branch of Stanford's Challenge Success. The club's goal is to lower student stress by making the focus of school less on grades, numbers, and extracurriculars but instead a place in which students can learn and grow. 


Community Alliance for Identity and Expression (CAIE)

CAIE, The Community Alliance for Identity and Expression, encourages dialogue and awareness in the Castilleja community of all sexual and gender identities and works to create and preserve a safe space for all members and students in general.



Allowing full access to all tools and materials in the Bourn Lab, Cre8 provides a fun, laid back environment that stimulates creativity and promotes innovation. Members can create anything that sparks their curiosity as they become active Makers. 


Girls Learn International

Our mission is to teach the Castilleja community, through fun and engaging meetings, about the importance of girls' education and to bring more opportunities to those who don't have the opportunity to receive an education. 


Halford Young Women Leaders Program

Halford Young Women Leaders Program pairs middle school girls from under-resourced, local communities with Castilleja sophomores, juniors and seniors.

With the goal of developing confidence, social skills, and leadership abilities in both mentors and mentees, participants engage in a structured, year-long mentoring curriculum developed through research-based studies at the University of Virginia.


Model United Nations (MUN)

The Model United Nations club encourages students to research and think deeply about current events and international affairs. Through intra-club debates and discussions, as well as MUN conferences, delegates will build their public speaking and negotiation skills.


Outdoor Education and Experiences

The Outdoor Education and Experience Club aims to promote the welfare of students and the environment through outdoor excursions, personal reflection, and our partnership with Acterra.


Sound Sisters Glee Club

Sound Sisters Glee Club is a great opportunity to join an amazing community of singers within Castilleja. We will sing 3-5 songs per quarter and rehearse 2-4 times a week. As a student-led group of 17 singers, we explore a variety of a cappella music, from contemporary to folk and school repertoire. We enjoy singing together and to the greater community.



STEMx seeks to engender an interest in STEM exploration at Castilleja with speakers and activities in medicine, science, computer science, engineering and math; and to empower and inspire local youth through STEM community engagement.


Team HBV

Team HBV, a branch of Stanford’s Asian Liver Center, works to spread awareness of Hepatitis B in order to combat the stigma around the disease and help eradicate HBV within our community. Since HBV largely targets the Asian community, Team HBV will represent the minority voices within the Casti Community and bring emphasis to the issue. Hepatitis B is known as the "silent killer" as many affected individuals lack the knowledge to get vaccinated or checked until they have liver cancer. By spreading the knowledge to even a single person can aid our cause exponentially. We will create a ripple effect within our own community and possibly even further, ensuring that no one is left unaware of the threat of Hepatitis B or believes the misconceptions that have stigmatized disease.           



Meet the Team

Stacey Kertsman

Titles: Dean of Equity Education and Social Impact, Director of ACE Center

Emily Clark

Titles: Leadership and Community Partners Programming Manager, Bourn Lab / Tinkering Nook Instructor

Anjelika Deogirikar Grossman

Titles: Assistant Director, ACE Center

Julie Nelson

Titles: ACE Center Operations Coordinator

Brenda Villa

Titles: Equity Education Coordinator, Head Coach, Varsity Water Polo, Assistant Coach, Varsity Swimming, Head Coach, VA Water Polo