The largest club on campus at Newbury Park High School, the Interact Club helps students develop leadership skills through community service. Rotary International’s service club for young people ages 12 to 18, some 20,372 Interact Clubs exist in 159 countries.

“Interact clubs provide students with opportunities to help their local community and collaborate with other Interact Club members around the world, all while helping student develop leadership skills,” says Rotary Club advisor to the NPHS Interact Club, Joe Joyce. “I love helping the students as they realize what they can do to help change the world,” he adds.

Interact Club members note the sense of pride they feel by helping the community and making a difference.

“It’s a great club to make new friends while impacting people throughout the community,” says NPHS Senior Cali Greenidge, who participated in the annual Dance for Hope event hosted by the school’s Interact Club. In line with its mission to make an impact both globally and locally, the Dance for Hope event raised money for the American Cancer Society, while hitting especially close to home with the recent death of NPHS English teacher Sandra Rail. The Interact Club members dedicated the event to her memory, preparing a slideshow and special performance.

Local & Global Service

Interact Clubs serve in many ways throughout the year, planning and organizing special events and fundraisers to benefit both local and international causes. Examples of Interact Club international reach include providing durable soccer balls to kids in Vietnam with One World Play, feeding the hungry via service projects throughout the world and developing a hand-washing campaign to promote safe hygiene for children in Nepal.

In addition to looking good on college applications, Interact Club membership benefits people who want to make a difference in the world, one member says.

Leadership

Interact Club members also have the opportunity to attend an intensive leadership experience organized by Rotary clubs, called Rotary Youth Leadership Awards. The camps are typically three-day retreats that include presentations, team-building activities and workshops covering a variety of topics designed to help students develop communication and problem-solving skills and discover strategies for becoming a dynamic leader. Community leaders, inspirational speakers and peer mentors help participants unlock their potential and turn their motivation into action. RYLA campers often form fun and lasting friendships that provide a source of support through the years.

To find out more about Interact Clubs, check with your high school to get involved or start an area club.