Lifestyles

Interact Club makes a difference

Jimma Scholarship House is home to 10 young women from rural areas around Jimma, Ethiopia who wouldn’t otherwise be able to pursue a high school education. This project is supported by the Kalamalka Rotary Club and its affiliated Interact Club at Seaton secondary school. - photo submitted
Jimma Scholarship House is home to 10 young women from rural areas around Jimma, Ethiopia who wouldn’t otherwise be able to pursue a high school education. This project is supported by the Kalamalka Rotary Club and its affiliated Interact Club at Seaton secondary school.
— image credit: photo submitted

W.L. Seaton Rotary Interact Club students find it’s a great way to make friends and to help make a difference to their school, the community and the world.

“I joined when I was in Grade 9 and it has made all the difference to my high school experience,” said club president Rachel Romano who is now in Grade 12. “I like that the club is composed of students who have a common sense of commitment to making things better. It has been pretty empowering.”

Kate Curtis, vice-president, who is also in Grade 12, is in her first year in the club.

“I wish I had joined in Grade 8. I have always been in leadership in some way but the year I graduate, I want to have the biggest impact I can. We see the various needs that there are at home and internationally and choose which ones we can help with. We are having the Tides of Change, collecting change for disaster relief in the Philippines, and in May we have our annual Music Marathon, a very popular event with local talent that helps War Child.”

The Rotary Interact Club is sponsored by the Kalamalka Rotary Club but is run by the student members who can ask Rotary members for advice as needed.

“The club gives young people an opportunity to make a difference, to help make the world a better place,” said Andy Erickson, a former teacher and Kalamalka Rotary Club member who is the school liaison.

“The students decide the goals. One of them was to help 10 girls in Ethiopia with housing and food so they could go on to high school in a larger centre after they finished school in their village. Providing education and opportunities for women is empowering women around the world. The students in the club are amazing and they assign themselves high goals for helping others.”

Romano said that while the club thinks big, it also takes notice of what is needed in the school like recycling cans and bottles.

“The club is open to all students and we find that once people start they like it and don’t leave. It helps you get to know people in other grades and get along and work together,” she said.

Curtis encourages students to get involved.

“We are always open to new ideas and it’s a good way to learn to be organized and do good work. It is a really cool part of Rotary,” she said. “We do as much as we can. We are asking the Upper Room Mission if there is any way that we could help there.”

The club recently made several donations to local and international charitable organizations.

 

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