Empowering tomorrow’s leaders

The Rotaract Club of Los Baños, Laguna, Philippines

The Rotaract Club of Los Baños, Laguna, Philippines

By Cristina Dimaano, a member of the Rotaract Club of Los Baños, Los Baños, Laguna, the Philippines

I became an Interactor to help my community in whatever small ways I could. I had a vision for helping separate out biodegradable trash from non-biodegradable items and cleaning up around our school. As students, our classwork is a top priority, but we moved around whenever possible and responded when the community asked for help. Continue reading

Invite a young person on a service project and change a life

The above video shows images from Danae Cooney’s service project trips to Fiji and to Cambodia with Habitat for Humanity.

By Danae Cooney, a Rotary scholar and former Interactor from Hamilton, New Zealand

Sometimes all it takes is one; one person willing to open a door, offer an opportunity and lead another.

In August 2011, I was 16 years old. I was given the opportunity to participate in a Rotary service project in Fiji. I traveled with a team of Rotarians, including my stepfather, to a small, remote village in Fiji called Saqani, where we refurbished a rotting, unusable preschool. Continue reading

Interactor inspired by Vancouver peace forum

Interactors and Rotarians discuss bullying and gang violence during the peace forum.

Interactors and Rotarians discuss bullying and gang violence during the peace forum.

By Anushka Kurian, a member of the Interact Club of Hugh Boyd Secondary School in Richmond, British Columbia, Canada

As an Interactor, I gained a deeper respect for Rotarians and a renewed admiration for their dedication to service last Saturday, 23 February, when I had the privilege of attending a peace forum in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, sponsored by districts 5040 and 5050.

It was an empowering experience to be in a room filled with such positive vibes from both Rotarians and Interactors. Continue reading

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

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

Interactors light up their high school with an End Polio Now message

Coral Gables Interactors

Members of the Interact Club of Coral Gables High School take part in illuminating their school with an End Polio Now message.

By Sally Baumgartner, a member of the Rotary Club of Coral Gables, Florida, USA

Our Interactors in Coral Gables, Florida, had a dream.

At the beginning of the school year, their faculty advisor told us the club wanted to contribute to Rotary’s End Polio Now campaign, and donate a portion of their profits from a caroling competition to Rotary’s Challenge. They also wanted to take part in Rotary Day by projecting an End Polio Now message onto the side of their high school. Continue reading