Local teens at Juneau-Douglas High School have their own Rotary, the Interact Club. Chartered in 1990, it is the first high school club established in the 5010 Rotary District and one of 10,000 international service clubs in 118 nations for students ages 14 to 18. Interact clubs take their name from a combination of "International" and "Action." The first Interact club was formed in 1962 in Melbourne, Fla. Today there are over 240,000 Interactors serving their communities around the world.
The 26 members of the Juneau-Douglas Interact Club have participated in numerous community and international service and leadership projects that have taken them to the local soup kitchen, the Rotary Youth Leadership Awards in Fairbanks, the Russian Interact Club Conference in Petropavlovsk as well as to the far corners of the world as Rotary Exchange Students.
The club members give a welcoming party for all the foreign exchange students attending Juneau-Douglas High School and include them in all club activities during the school year. The club has collected canceled stamps to send to a high school in India, which processes them to sell to stamp collectors in order to support their school. The club has gathered children's books and written notes to accompany each book, which was given to Russian orphanages. The Interactors have sent funds to sponsor two Mexican students in the Project Amigo Rotary School in Colimas, Mexico. Juneau club members have slept out in cardboard boxes in November the last two years for their Homeless Awareness Project which has raised over $3,400 for The Glory Hole.
All Juneau-Douglas High School students in good standing are welcome to join Interact. The school charges a $25 activity fee, which can be earned by working with the activities office. Rotary International requires members to attend 60 percent of the meetings to maintain their membership. Interactors can earn a school letter, pin, bar or certificate by participating in all fundraisers, club service projects and by attending 80 percent of the meetings. The group meets twice a month during the school year.
The Juneau-Douglas High School Interact Club contributed to this article.