SPHS Rotary Interact Club spearheads Santa Paula clean up effort
By Peggy Kelly
Santa Paula News
Published: October 19, 2012
The Santa Paula High School Interact Club gathered more than 200 volunteers who spent part of their weekend helping to clean up the city. The October 13 Santa Paula Clean Up Day was spearheaded by Interact President Brenda Guillermo, a SPHS senior.
Interim Public Works Director Brian Yanez said city staff shortages led to the suspension of the city’s formerly regular Santa Paula Beautiful events that involved Santa Paula personnel and volunteers. But then Guillermo approached the city, “came and met with our staff” for about three months to plan how to help clean up Santa Paula.
She also was busy at school gathering volunteers from different clubs and programs, as well adults to act as supervisors. The volunteers tackled cleaning up trash and debris from the Bike Trail, Main Street/Downtown Business District, Downtown alleys and parking lots, and the Skate Park.
On Monday Interact students were special guests at the meeting of their sponsoring Rotary Club of Santa Paula, where several offered information about the project.
Interact is an international organization of service and social clubs for young people of secondary school age that fosters leadership and responsible citizenship and promotes international understanding and peace. Combining the words “international” and “action” created the name of the clubs, sponsored by Rotary clubs as a program of Rotary International.
Although Rotary clubs provide guidance and inspiration, the Interact clubs are self-governing and self-supporting. Each year, Interact clubs complete at least one community service project and at least one project that focuses on promoting international understanding and goodwill. Interactors can develop a worldwide network of friendships through exchanges with local and overseas clubs and, along the way, develop their leadership skills and initiative while meeting new friends.
Santa Paula Rotary is a generous supporter of the Interact Club and has sponsored youth for various leadership programs including the Rotary Youth Leadership Academy Camp. Through their service activities, Interactors learn the importance of developing leadership skills and personal integrity; demonstrating helpfulness and respect for others; understanding the value of individual responsibility and hard work; and advancing international understanding and goodwill.