Students lead and learn with Interact Club

Students with a passion for leadership, collaboration, and being active in their community may find themselves joining NPHS’ Interact Club. The organization functions under the guidance of Rotary International, a humanitarian service association, which has nearly 15,000 clubs worldwide.

The club puts on many lively events throughout the year to promote volunteer services and fundraisers, such as Caroling for Cans, Manna Food Drives, donating Easter baskets to foster Children and the staple Annual Dance for Hope.

Brandon Janes, English teacher, is the advisor for the club. He believes that the purpose of Interact is to encourage students to be active problem solvers. “The purpose of Interact is to identify problems both in our own community and the world in general and try to find solutions and play a small part in just making the world a better place than how we found it,” Janes said. “One of the things I really enjoy about being the Interact advisor is the fact that we can take relatively small steps to make a difference in our community.”

Andrea D’Souza, senior and publicist of the club, appreciates the many skills and connections she has been able to make thanks to Interact. “[The club] allowed me to grow closer with the members in the club and my community overall. I was able to learn how to manage and plan events, as well as the impact they have on our surroundings,” D’Souza said. “It gave me an outlet to engage with my peers in order to better the public in a school setting.”

Featuring cultural dance styles, the club held its biggest event of the year, Dance for Hope, on April 29. Isabella Boggs, freshman and member of the Interact club, watched as the fundraiser for the American Cancer Society successfully came together. “The end result is really cool to see everyone’s like hard work come together, and to know how much we were helping just by doing this,” Boggs said. “I know that the board members were working insanely hard all year.”

Strike a pose!- Ria Dudhia, sophomore (left), and Nandini Patro, sophomore (right), take the stage for the memorable Bollywood number during Dance for Hope. Emerson Fuentes Alabanza/Prowler

Ta-da!- The audience cheers as Dhilan Patel, senior, shines under the spotlight. “It’s one of our biggest events and it takes a lot of planning. We’ve been planning since the beginning of the school year,” Patel said. Emerson Fuentes Alabanza/Prowler

The club’s co-president, Sage Patel, senior, has had a strong connection to Interact since she first walked on campus, particularly through her sister. “My sister was on the board and she was in the club starting her freshman year. And so that really caught my attention towards it. But then like I went to future Panther Night and all that stuff you do as a freshman and club rush, and I really just liked their engagement and how vocal they were there,” Patel said.

Since joining, Patel has discovered that her favorite aspect of the club is the synergy the members have with each other. “I love hearing from not just the board members, but members in our club. We’ve always tried to engage them as much as we can and told them like if they want to implement any ideas into our club, we’re really open to it,” Patel said. “Hearing what they have to say and just honestly like building a community within our club is really helpful. That was really helpful for me, so I’ve really tried to do my best and try and do that for others.”
Interact Club gives students the opportunity to start a lifelong journey of helping their locality and gives them the chance to find interest in working with others. “With Interact, it really can be the start of a lifelong commitment that can be used to find opportunities for leadership, for growth or making changes in your community and beyond. There’s so many different routes with Interact and stay involved with it and this is just the start of the journey,” Janes said.