Interact Club leadership team: President Maggie Bidasolo, Treasurer Kenna Cardin, VP Billy Biggers and Secretary Zidane Galant-Laporte. photo by Jodi Schneider McNamee
By Jodi Schneider McNamee
The timing couldn't have been better for the launching of a new club in Sisters High School. "Interact" is a service club sponsored by Sisters Rotary Club.
Heather Johnson, Sisters High School health teacher, encouraged the students who had been deeply moved by the school's connection with Uganda to come to the Interact Club's inaugural meeting the following day.
Interact is a combination of the words international and action. Interact is a club for youth ages 12-18 who want to connect with other young folks in their community or school. The Interact Club members carry out service projects and learn about the world. The Interact Club carries out two service projects a year: one that helps the school or community and one that promotes international understanding.
"It consists of students that are dedicated to community and international services for a lasting impact on society worldwide," said Johnson. "This is a club that allows the students to make a profound difference."
With over 20 years experience and two past presidencies in Sisters Rotary Club, Mike Bidasolo is the Rotary advisor for the Interact Club at Sisters High School.
"This is Sisters Rotary Club's first attempt at introducing an Interact Club. Connecting the students' passion for Uganda with the Rotary's Interact Club was extraordinary. With clubs in over 120 countries, Interact is truly an international phenomenon," said Bidasolo.
Bidasolo has been acting as advisor from the Rotary Club at the weekly Interact Club meetings held in the health classroom at Sisters High School.
"During the first meeting I informed the students what characteristics we are looking for in each individual to make this club fully effective. Highly motivated students that want to help other folks is a key factor. It's their club, and once they set their goals and aspirations it's up to them to make it a reality," said Bidasolo. "As President Kennedy once said, 'We choose to go to the moon, not because it's easy, but because it's hard.'"
Johnson is there to support and assist in advising the students to carry out what they desire their club to become.
"The focus for the students in this Interact Club is to make a positive difference on an international and domestic level. These particular students come equipped with hearts for service. We have already chosen our international project for this year. Our focus will be on our sister school in Uganda. We will have at least one local project, yet to be decided," said Johnson.
To show that Interact is moving forward, information and competitive applications were passed out for selected students who will be chosen to go on an international service trip during spring break 2015. The service trip to Uganda will help by bringing resources and teaching skills to make a difference in breaking traditional cycles of poverty, disease and limited education.
"The idea is for students to have an authentic international traveling experience with the knowing that there will be experienced adults present to advise, teach and assist," Johnson said.
The Interact Club officers were chosen after the 22 club students took to voting during the second meeting. Maggie Bidasolo won hands-down as president, Billy Biggers is vice-president, Zidane Galant-Laporte will be secretary, and Kenna Cardin treasurer.
"We are a leadership team setting standards and expectations as a group. We are here to support and lead the rest of the club and are all working together for the same thing," said Bidasolo, Interact Club president.