By Elisa Reamer
Getting involved is one of the best ways to make your high school career worthwhile. When looking at the list of clubs offered at BHS, students may become overwhelmed by the number of different opportunities. Everyone should choose to join Interact Club because it has an endless amount of opportunities. Interact Club is a service-based club that volunteers locally and internationally. Around the world, there are 468,556 interactors in 159 countries. Batavia High School currently has 129 members, but it grows every meeting as new people join. By joining Interact Club, members will be able to make a difference around the school, Tri-Cities, and in Africa through their partnership school in Ghana.
As they grow older, there are many other ways to get involved. Once they are in college, members may choose to join Rotaract, the college version of Interact Club, which also has many more opportunities. Rotary is the parent company of these two clubs.
Interact is run by the sponsor, Haley Nickolaou, and the board members, Alana Leonhard, Leah Albers, Veronica Pronitcheva, Elisa Reamer, Mia Divito, and Chris Theros. Nickolaou has been the sponsor of Interact for five years and even though she was not a part of it during high school, she was still heavily involved with community service. She is very excited about how great the club has become within and outside of BHS.
“I think that having Interact, and other volunteer organizations, at the high school is powerful,” Nickolaou said. “It shows students the importance of volunteering and shows them that they can make an impact on their community and world. Interact has had a tremendous impact on the community. Our students volunteer at the food banks, the elementary schools, local events, and with organizations like CHIPIN, Batavia United Way, and TriCity Family Services to name a few. This year we’ve shopped for families in need around the holiday and for their birthdays. We’ve also created goodie bags for children in the hospital on Halloween and will be doing it again for Valentine’s Day.”
“Because Interact is such a big club with so many active members, we really do have the power to help with so many things throughout the community.”
The president of the club, Leonhard, has been a member for three years and this is her second time being on the board. Though being on the board is stressful, she said that the positives outweigh it all.
“The most rewarding part of Interact Club is definitely seeing the impact you’re making and helping those around you and seeing them happy,” Leonhard said. “Interact has positively impacted my life by allowing me to help my community, get involved, and feel good about making a positive impact on others’ lives.”
One of the exciting opportunities Interact brings to students is RYLA. RYLA is a three-day retreat that allows Interact members from surrounding areas to learn about themselves more and teach students how to be a leader. Kayla Giltner, a member of Batavia’s Interact, had the opportunity to go last year. She would love to go again because she had such an awesome time.
“I got to know myself better by doing group-trust activities and bonding with my cabin mates,” she said.
By the end, Giltner’s trust was built up in others and herself. By attending this camp, you will be recognized heavily by Rotary. It will give you a better chance of winning their scholarship and getting a spot on the Interact Executive Board. There are so many more reasons why students should join Interact. When joining, colleges will heavily recognize these applicants because the amount of community service they are doing and the club will give members awards during their recognition night. By being in the club, members get the chance to be able to help families in their own neighborhood, troop members overseas, students in Africa, and so many others. Get involved in your school by joining a club, specifically a volunteer club that is 100 percent free to join, Interact.