From sending water pasteurization indicators (WAPIs) to Third World countries to organizing blood drives and feeding elderly people on Thanksgiving, Interact Club focuses on various volunteer opportunities for youth.
“Club meetings usually consist of me telling members what service work is available to them,” club president and staff member of The Pearl Post Jade Ajileye said. “I just tell them the volunteer opportunities that either I found or Rotary Club is hosting.”
In the past, students in Interact Club have sent WAPIs to Mexico and Kenya to provide those countries with ways to test whether or not their water is safe to drink. This year, the club plans to hold the event on May 19, the same day as Sparkle Saturday, a day where students help beautify the campus.
Interact Club is an international organization sponsored by the Rotary Club of Meriden and Rotary International where students between the ages of 12 and 18 are offered volunteer opportunities to not only better their schools, but also their communities.
Interact clubs are expected to participate in two service projects per year, one that helps their school or community and another that shows international understanding.
DPMHS has been hosting Interact Club since 2010, when it was first started by Rotary Advisor Todd Gurvis and his son, Avi Gurvis.
“I hope students have a commitment to service and to helping people whether it’s their local community or halfway across the world and I’m very proud that this Interact Club has always done international projects as well as projects here on campus and in the community,” Todd Gurvis said.
Interact Club meets every other Wednesday during lunch in Room 11 with Daniel Cramer as the school sponsor of the club and Gurvis as the rotarian adviser. During each meeting, Ajileye shares new volunteer opportunities members can participate in from both the Rotary programs and ones Ajileye finds on her own.
“I joined my freshman year and I would say my favorite part is how they find so many different opportunities for the club to participate in,” junior Mariana Sifuentes said.
Many awards are also offered through the club, such as Rotary Youth Leadership Awards, or RYLA, to students who have shown a significant amount of time and dedication to service projects. After graduating, high school students who choose to stay in Rotary have the option to join Rotaract clubs. These clubs, which also involve community service projects, are for adults ages 18 to 30.
“I think that the leadership is strong and they’re going to pursue some really good projects this spring,” Cramer said.