For the past three years, I've been slowly climbing my way up the metaphorical ladder in one of my school's clubs: Interact. I'm 99% sure that it's short for "International Action", but nobody ever talks about it, so I wouldn't know. It's essentially a preppy high school service club where very charismatic and outgoing people gather to volunteer at marathons, clean up beaches, and raise money to help girls around the world get out of a forced child marriage. It's a lot, I know. That's why I want so badly to be a part of it all. Not just a member, but a part of everything. The one gear in the system that actually serves a purpose.
In freshman year, I was just a member. I attended meetings here and there, but I wasn't involved enough in the club to understand the impact that it had on our community and the world. After my friend got a position on Interact's board, I started going to more meetings and attending more service events. By the beginning of sophomore year, I had applied to be publicist, but ended up being a mere board member. It was a lot more exciting than it was disappointing -- not because the power was already getting to my head, but because I could now get a glimpse at what it takes to have an international impact. By junior year, I became secretary. It definitely helped that I had experience with taking meeting minutes from a previous volunteering opportunity that I took up for a few years. It's now the summer before my senior year, and I've reached the position of president. Well, co-president. I'm being forced to share the spotlight with the friend that I mentioned earlier. I'm glad that I have her to lean on, because I've never met anyone who worked better with me than her.
Unfortunately, she hasn't here for me to "lean on" for the past two weeks. She's doing this summer program in Ecuador. I have no idea what she could possibly be up to, but I hope that she at least tried to brush up on her Spanish before she left. A few days before she's scheduled to return, Interact set up a presidents meeting. I'd never been to one before, so I wasn't sure what to expect. I already know a good amount of Interactors, since most went to the same middle school as I did, but I was on my own this time. I had a new position, I had to meet new people, and I didn't have my co-president to help me out.
When I showed up for the meeting, I walked into the wrong room. Luckily, the people inside knew where I was headed and pointed me in the right direction. There were only seven of us there, and they knew much more than I did about the inner workings of Interact. Luckily, I did some research on my own. I went through old event records, wrote down anything that they might want to know, set a timeline for how I wanted the year to go, and set goals for my club. I ended up talking a lot. It felt nice to participate in the conversation for once.
I left with a few new friends/acquaintances and gum on my hand. I need to stop touching the bottom of tables. When I got home, I worked more. I created a calendar of all school and Interact events, to make sure that my officers knew when to schedule events and what times were best to advertise fundrasiers. I added a page for our directory, to make sure that everyone's contact information was available for whoever needs it. I even started brainstorming ideas for Interact's mascot of the year.
If everything goes as planned, I can finally be a big part of this club. Actually, the college student who's in charge of my area texted me one day, asking if I wanted to apply for an even higher position. Interact's district council had a few seats open, and they were taking applications for new members. If you're not already in Interact, this is super confusing. Districts? Areas? Numbers? Here's a quick summary:
- School Clubs - The clubs that are stationed on school campuses. Each has their own board of officers. This is what I'm the president of.
- Area - A group that consists of about half a dozen schools. My area, Area 6, has about a thousand members. Our leader is called the "area director".
- District - A group that consists of about a dozen area in one region. There are tens of thousand of members. Probably. They are run by the district council, which is led by our district governor. I've only met them once.
- Rotary - a group of adults and college students who give us money and make sure we're doing okay.
So, yes, I'm still relatively low on the ladder of Interact power, but I'm very satisfied with where I am now. It took a lot of convincing to get me to turn down the opportunity of applying for district council. I have another club that I'm running, and I can't drive, so I can't go to a lot of district meetings. Even as president, I have a lot to do. Hopefully, everything turns out okay.