Everything you Need to Know About Interact Club

By Eric Eng

By Eric Eng

members of a club laughing in front of a laptop

Everything you Need to Know About Interact Club

When it comes to getting into the college or university of your dreams, some of the most important things to keep in mind is that college admissions officers at the top schools in the country love to see a high school student invest their time and energy in things that they are passionate about out of the classroom.

If you or your student is wondering about what kinds of extracurricular activities could benefit them in many ways – not only when it comes to getting into college – then one great option that you may want to consider is Interact Club.

a female host talking on stage

In this quick breakdown, we at AdmissionSight will break down exactly what Interact Club is that you can get a great idea of whether or not it is the right choice for your student when it comes to high school extracurricular activities.

On top of that, we will break down past examples of Interact Club programs as well as explain why extracurriculars are so important.

Let’s get started!

Rotary Youth Programs

To put it simply, Interact Club is a branch of Rotary Youth Programs, so before we dive deeply into Interact Club. The Rotary Youth Programs offer a handful of fun and exciting programs for growing students throughout the world. Whether it is the Rotary Youth Leadership Award, the Rotary Youth Exchange, the 4-Way Essay and Speech Contests, or Interact Club, there is no shortage of fun and exciting ways for kids to spend their out-of-class time thanks to Rotary Youth Programs.

Students holding flags from different parts of the world.

In all, Rotary is a global network that includes over 1 million people across the entire world. in all, there are currently more than 35,000 total clubs throughout the world that worked together to support education and literacy, promote peace, fight sickness, and make a lasting and positive impact on the world.

One of the things that many students who are involved in Rotary Youth Programs take part in camps and seminars that take place during the summer months called the Rotary Youth Leadership Award. This program is called an award because members of the group believe that the young people involved deserve to be rewarded for their leadership, commitment, and service to making the world a better place to live in.

While the Rotary Youth Leadership Award is not totally connected to Interact Club, it gives you a good idea of what this global program values when it comes to what it offers, and expects, out of the students involved.

What are the Rotary Interact Clubs?

Interact Clubs are an important branch of the greater Rotary youth programs that invite students between ages 12 and 18 to get important chances to develop leadership skills while also focusing on the Rotary credo of “Service-Above-Self.” in fact, many high schools across the United States and the world have their own chapters of Interact Clubs that allows students enrolled in those schools to work together and be a part of many different community service programs and initiatives.

students discussing matters within school club

Each and every school year, Interact Clubs invest their time and energy in at least two community service projects. One of those projects must be angled towards benefiting the school or community that the students live in learning. The other project must promote greater international understanding with the goal of creating a more unified and peaceful global community.

There are many benefits for students who are interested in joining an Interact Club offered at their high school. Many of the top benefits of taking part in Interact Club is that students get the chance to:

  • Discover new cultures as they promote a greater sense of international understanding
  • Developing key leadership skills in their schooler and their community
  • Making new friends both in their own community at home as well as communities across the world
  • Encourage and practice thoughtfulness and helpfulness towards others
  • Create an awareness of the importance of home and family
  • Build respect for the rights of all people, based on recognition of the worth of each individual
  • Emphasize acceptance of individual responsibility as the basis of personal success, community improvement, and group achievement
  • Develop important life skills that include self-development, time management, and personal finances
  • Recognize the dignity of all useful jobs and opportunities that work towards making society better
  • Open pathways of personal and group action leading to the advancement of international understanding and goodwill towards the whole of humanity

Every year, tens of thousands of clubs across hundreds of different countries all over the world allow over half-a-million high school students to connect with leaders in their community and around the world.

What is involved?

As you already know, Interact Club organizes at least two projects every year for every club around the world. One of those projects helps the school or community and the other promotes greater international connection and understanding.

Some of the global impacts of Interact allows members to get involved in great projects such as:

  • World Interact Week
  • Interact Video Awards
  • Rotary Youth Day at the United Nations
  • Global Youth Service Day

Examples of programs

At this point, you may be wondering about what kind of programs you could actually get involved in as a member of an Interact Club in your school or community. To give you a good idea of what incredible things you might be a part of, here is a shortlist of programs that have taken place all over the world in recent years.

In the United States, members of the Interact club and their sponsor Rotary Club teamed up with the One World Play Project that helped them bring durable soccer balls to children living in Vietnam.

In the pool, members of the Incorrect Club created an innovative and self-sustaining method to fund a hand washing and personal hygiene campaign in order to keep children healthy and safe.

In Brazil, Interact Club members went out of their way to create a social media game named White Whale which was meant to combat a different social media game that encouraged young and at-risk adolescents and teenagers to complete a set of challenges over a 50-day period Which became more and more dangerous as time went on. Due to the fact that the Blue Whale game actually led to some young people taking their own lives, these Brazilian Interactors (as they are called) literally saved lives.

How Do I Join Interact Club?

Of course, joining an Interact Club that already exists in your school is a very simple process. The first step is to check in with your school or contact an already existing Rotary club to find out whether or not there is an Interact Club that you can join in your area. From there, all you have to do is contact the Interact Club directly and find out what you have to do in order to join the next meeting, service project, or community event.

students in a circle doing a club activity

Following Interact Club on social media is also a good way to get up-to-date notifications on what Interact Club is doing in your area and around the world.

But what if there is no Interact Club that you can join in your school or community? Luckily, the program makes it easy to start your own club.

If you are unable to locate an Interact Club in your area and would like to start a club, you simply have to contact your local Rotary Club to find out how you can start an Interact Club in your school.

Everything that you need to know about how you can organize, certify and manage your club can be found at this link – the Interact Guide for Rotary Club Sponsors and Advisors.

Here is one great thing to keep in mind when it comes to joining or starting an Interact Club. While you may feel as though you will be at a disadvantage if you are the one who has to start the Interact Club at your school in the eyes of college admissions officers, that could not be further from the truth.

You may be worried that if you are the one to start your own Interact Club, college admissions officers may see that as a less valuable extracurricular because it is somehow less official than an Interact Club that has been in service for many, many years.

The truth is that one thing that college admissions officers look for most closely when it comes to the kinds of extracurricular activities that high schoolers invest their time in is to make sure that those students are earning roles of leadership and impact within those extracurriculars.

You might think that it is best to invest your time in as many extracurriculars as possible during high school, but that could not be further from the truth. College admissions officers do not look for the number of extracurriculars that a high school student does, but instead, they look at the quality.

What college admissions officers look for in high school extracurriculars?

Of course, admissions officers first and foremost will look at your test scores and grades in order to make sure that you are a good fit for a specific school, but do not fool yourself into thinking that extracurriculars are not crucially important as well.

In fact, due to the reasons that it is quite common for students who apply to the most competitive and prestigious schools to all have very similar numbers when it comes to GPA and standardized testing scores, it is often factors such as letters of recommendations, personal essays, and extracurriculars that can help you separate from the pack.

When it comes to what kinds of extracurricular activities students do, there is a wealth of opportunities that any student can take advantage of depending on what they’re most passionate about.

One thing to keep in mind is that no matter what the activity is, college admissions officers are going to look for quality over quantity. What that means is that college admissions officers are going to be far more impressed by a student who has spent years getting deeply involved in a program, team, or group compared to a student who spent a couple of months in 10 to 12 clubs during their high school years. To put that more simply, laundry lists of extracurriculars do not impress. Here are what college admissions officers look for most when they are evaluating a student’s extracurricular activities:

  1. Colleges admissions officers want to see at the time spent on involvement has led to growth and meaningful experiences. Students should:
    • Strive to make a difference in the group and greater community
    • Complete and contribute to a worthwhile product or cause
    • Learn something or develop a new skill or talent as a result of their involvement
    • Accomplish major goals or be recognized for their contributions
  2. College admissions officers are always looking for students to portray leadership qualities and abilities through their engagement and extracurricular activities. Students should:
    • Seek to earn a role within the groups and programs that they are involved in
    • Serve as a captain of an athletic team, be a member of a team that wins a state for the regional championship, or is recognized an individual basis for their own achievements
    • Progress from a regular member status early in their involvement to a leadership role over the course of their high school years
    • Play a role in major and positive organizational changes that make it a more positive or more effective program
    • Gone beyond what is expected of them in order to have a great impact on the program or community as a whole
  3. College admissions officers also look for outside recognition. Students should:
    • Attempt to earn awards, honors, press, rankings, or letters of acknowledgment and gratitude for their role in the program
    • Be able to explain and identify their own personal sense of achievement that they got out of their involvement even if they were not striving for material awards and recognition.

This is a great way to get started on thinking about extracurricular activities. Remember, even if you are not sure that you are interested in as you start high school, you should make a real effort in the early months of your freshman year to try to get involved in different clubs and groups at your school and in your community to start getting a feel for what you might be most interested in.

Freshman year is the perfect time to test the waters and actually put an emphasis on quantity over quality. From there, you can start to whittle down the groups and programs that you have taken part in and choose the two to five that you are most interested in pursuing further. Ideally, each and every year, you will make a real effort to get more involved and have a greater impact on the direction that those groups, programs, teams, or clubs go in going forward.

Why the Interact Club is so great?

Now that you know what college admissions officers look for in high school students’ extracurriculars, it is probably very clear why Interact Club is such a great option for any high school student to consider.

Interact Club allows students to get involved in many communities at once. The projects that they take part in each and every year seek to make a positive impact on the local community and school community as well as the international community.

Students picking up trash.

Students involved in the program get the chance to learn about worlds that are very different from their own and that leads to fantastic growth and personal evolution.

One thing that college admissions officers all look for when they are looking through applications each and every year is a good sign that a student will be a major positive force on the college campus.

If you have already spent years of your life working towards being a positive force in your local – as well as the global – community, chances are very good that college admissions officers will get a very good idea of what kind of positive forces you will have on college campuses.

Here in AdmissionSight, we make it our goal to make sure that the top students in the country get into the schools of their dreams no matter who competitive and prestigious they are. Whether you are interested in an Ivy League School, one of the top non-Ivy private schools, a highly competitive and prestigious public university, we can help you by offering academic guidance, essay writing tips, and extracurricular choices to help you achieve your goals.

Now that you know quite a lot about Interact Club, you may feel that it is the time to start looking into what clubs are available in your community or if you have to start a club of your own. Luckily, Rotary Club makes both tasks incredibly easy so that you will have your answer to what steps to take next in no time.

Good luck!


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