“Service Above Self” is the International Rotary Clubs motto. It is this motto that is foremost in the minds of high school students all over the world that join the service oriented “Interact Clubs.” Under student president, Jessica Fisher, the Carlsbad High School Interact Club has lived this motto. Carlsbad Hi-Noon Rotary Club sponsors this high school club under the leadership of Rotarians Dr. Pat Landis, Interact Chair and Walter Waggener, Vocational Director. Jeff Brandemeyer is the faculty sponsor and advisor.
Interact Clubs give young people an opportunity to participate in meaningful service projects, in their school, community and even internationally. With Rotary’s support and direction, activities of the club help young men and women develop leadership skills needed for them to be successful in their future business, professional and/or independent lives.
Interact students develop personal integrity through helpfulness and respect of others. They learn to advance international understanding and goodwill. On a personal level, Rotary Interactors meet new friends that often last their entire life. The Rotary Interact Club, a very popular service club on the high school campus, has had an attendance of as many as 175.
Club members have been very busy with Community Service activities including Rotary’s Oktoberfest that benefits the Carlsbad Boy’s and Girl’s Club and the Women’s Resource Center that fights domestic violence. The club purchased two wheelchairs for severely handicapped individuals in Malawi, Africa; organized a beach clean-up; helped clean “well coins” given to Rotary by Lego Land, and helped the Carlsbad Christmas Bureau distribute food and presents to needy families. They collected spare change from fellow students to support Rotary’s Polio Eradication Campaign. This group is planning an all high school “garage sale” at Delta M Collins’ home on March 27, 2004 to raise funds for Village Bank as their annual International project.
Rotary was created in 1905, so, next year it will hold its 100th Anniversary. Clubs all over the world are doing special projects to help celebrate. Carlsbad Hi-Noon Rotary Club is cooperating with the City of Carlsbad in a reforestation project to create a new Rotary/Carlsbad City Park. Most of the creation is a hands-on program led by Rotarian and immediate Past President, Dave Kulchin. Interactors have eagerly worked cleaning the area, planting trees, installing water pipe lines and sprinklers, and many other types of work.
Rotary Interact Clubs are in 29 High Schools in San Diego and Imperial Counties (about 621 students). Throughout the world, there are Interact Students in 114 countries belong to 9,256 Interact Clubs with 212,188 active Interactors.
Story submitted by Delta Collins, Hi-Noon Rotary Club.