Interact postcard contest winner inspired by Hawaii peace forum

Interactor Haley Lavergne, left, meets with Sylvia Whitlock, the first female president of a Rotary Club in 1987.

Interactor Haley Lavergne, right, meets with Sylvia Whitlock, who in 1987 became the first female president of a Rotary club.

By Haley Lavergne, a member of the Interact Club of West Feliciana High School in St. Francisville, Louisiana, USA.

I was delighted to attend the Rotary Global Peace Forum in Honolulu, Hawaii, 25-27 January, with my mother as the winner of the grand prize in the Interact Peace Through Service Postcard Contest. The most powerful moment for me was to hear Aung San Suu Kyi speak about the power of individual kindness and compassion.

Personally, at times I feel overwhelmed how much need and suffering is in the world. Continue reading

Everyone has a role in peace

Kai Nestman, right, with RI President Sakuji Tanaka, center, and other Rotaractors at the Rotary Global Peace Forum in Honolulu, Hawaii. Photo courtesy of Kai Nestman

Kai Nestman, left, with RI President Sakuji Tanaka, center, and other Rotaractors at the Rotary Global Peace Forum in Honolulu, Hawaii. Photo courtesy of Kai Nestman

By Kai Nestman, a member of the Rotaract Club of Ottawa, Ontario, Canada

This past weekend I was fortunate to participate in a Rotary Global Peace Forum in Honolulu, Hawaii. The forum placed a heightened emphasis on young people as catalysts for peace. Workshops brought together participants from around the world to discuss and engage in peace education, technology, intercultural understanding, peace through humanitarianism, and world peace through personal health, among many others. Young people offer us the greatest opportunity to move towards world peace. Continue reading

Service transforms lives

Paula Caldeiram

Paula Caldeiram

By Paula Caldeiram, a member of the Rotaract Club of St. Paul Espro, Sao Paulo, Brazil

This is my “Rotary Moment.” I became an Interactor in 2008, and after a year of activities found myself transitioning to Rotaract as a member of the St. Paul Espro club. One of our service projects is a campaign to help provide warm clothing for the homeless.

I was taking part in this project this August when something special touched my heart. Continue reading

Interactors take part in Rotary-UN Day

Marty Helman, governor of District 7780, and RI President Sakuji Tanaka, middle, pose with Interactors from New England who attended Rotary-UN Day in New York City 3 November. The youth were accompanied by ten adult chaperones. Photo courtesy Marty Helman

By Marty Peak Helman, governor of District 7780 (parts of Maine, Massachusetts, and New Hampshire, USA)

What could be more exciting than bringing a bus-load of Interactors from District 7780 in Northern New England to the Big Apple for Rotary-UN Day?  The annual event includes a special program for Interactors and Youth Exchange students, and a chance not only to learn more about Rotary opportunities, but also to meet like-minded youth from all over the world. Continue reading

Interact is just the beginning

Emily Wood speaks during the preconvention in Bangkok, Thailand, in May. Photo by Andrea Tirone

By Emily Wood, a member of the Rotaract Club of South-West Brisbane, Australia, in celebration of the 50th anniversary of Interact.

In Interact, it doesn’t matter that you’re only a teenager; you still have the chance to make a positive difference in the world. Age is no barrier when you have a group of passionate individuals and the support of Rotary.

As a member of Interact, I was given the opportunity to have fun with friends while also helping others and exploring my abilities. From door-knock charity appeals to large-scale fundraising events, we were given the power and responsibility to “run the show.” Continue reading

The most meaningful decision in my life

Alumni Relations Coordinator Diane Lopez surrounded by children in Peru.

By Diane Lopez, former Interactor and Alumni Relations Coordinator for The Rotary Foundation

I frequently contemplate on the impact that Rotary had in my personal life and career and have come to the realization that deciding to participate in Interact was the most meaningful decision in my life.

I clearly remember when I was approached to be part of the Interact Club at St. Scholastica Academy. Continue reading

Birthplace of Interact celebrates 50 years

Melbourne High School Interactors and Rotarians from the sponsoring club of Melbourne, Florida, USA. Photo courtesy Rotary Club of Melbourne

By Kevin Arter, a member of the Rotary Club of Melbourne, Florida, USA

Fifty years ago, my club sponsored the very first Interact Club at Melbourne High School. The Interactors at Mel High, as it is known locally, received their charter on 5 November, 1962.

More than half of our Rotary club’s members today were not yet born when Interact began. But the youngest members of our club, who are in their 20s and 30s, recognize the enormity of our club having started something so important, and are excited to celebrate the 50th anniversary. Continue reading

Australian Rotaractors raise awareness for polio eradication

Australian Rotaractors and Rotarians in front of Parliament House in Canberra 21 October to raise awareness for the End Polio Now campaign. Photo courtesy of Rotaract Club of Canberra

By Kate Campbell, president of the Rotaract Club of Canberra, Australia

Standing alongside my fellow Australian Rotaractors and Rotarians in front of Parliament House in Canberra 21 October to raise awareness for the End Polio Now campaign was a truly exhilarating moment.

The event aimed to show support for the amazing work done by RI and their partners in the Global Polio Eradication Initiative and encourage the Australian government to continue supporting the fight against this deadly disease. Continue reading

Go where people can hear you

Use social media

Participants in a workshop at the 2012 RI Convention. Social media is a valuable tool for sharing Rotary’s story.

By Antoinette Tuscano, RI Editorial staff, reporting from Bangkok, Thailand

As the staff person who does much of the social media for Rotary InternationaI, I listened with interest to Rotary leaders at the International Institute in Bangkok as they discussed the power of the Internet and social media in sharing Rotary’s story.

I understand why some people hesitate to use social media and why it can seem intimidating. Like many of you, I didn’t grow up with a smart phone in my hand twittering my every thought. I’m old enough to remember a time before cable TV and having to actually get up off the couch to change the channel. Continue reading

Rotaractors roll up their sleeves during convention


Rotaractors take part in a service project during the 2012 RI Convention in Bangkok, Thailand.

By Andrea Tirone, a member of the Rotaract Club of University of Toronto, reporting from Bangkok, Thailand

It’s official. I have attended five Rotaract Preconvention Meetings around the world, the most recent of which took place on 4-5 May, in Bangkok, Thailand.

This experience has been unlike any of the others because I also had the opportunity to attend the four-day Asia Pacific Regional Rotaract Conference immediately before.  Continue reading