Each year Rotary District 5220 selects from hundreds of Interact Club members across the 50 Club District to honor one who goes above and beyond and to name one as "Interactor of the Year."
Naiyleah Arellano, a Whitmore Charter Middle School eighth-grader and Interact Club president on her campus, was given the highest honor on April 26 and recognized as District 5220 Interactor of the Year. She was selected for exceptional leadership skill, treating others with respect, supporting club events, and helping members attain club goals and complete service projects at both the local and international level.
During her time as president, Arellano worked to increase membership and led bi-weekly meetings for the club's 54 members. She helped the school in several functions including:
• Sponsoring games and activities at the Round-Up community event;
• Participating in the Rotary Read-In;
• Assisted with Literacy Night;
• Managed Pi Day which helped raise funds for sixth-graders to attend Outdoor Education;
• She was also a driving force in the community based endeavors which included serving breakfast at the Salvation Army Center for the area's people in need;
• Singing Christmas carols with the club and offered cookies to guests at the Walnut Grove Assisted Care facility in Modesto;
• Encouraged fellow members to help at Ceres Rotary's annual Crab Feed set-up;
• Sponsored a Whitmore Movie Night to raise funds to help eradicate polio worldwide;
• As president, helped the club to collect over 100 pairs of jeans for homeless teens, and over 75 small stuffed animals for Rotary's wheelchair recipients.
Interact Club advisors Kathie Knudsen and Lauren Moraca credit Naiyleah for a wonderful year of Interact and wish her great success as she enters high school in the fall.
Interact clubs were implemented in 1960 as a way for young people, ages 12-18, who want to join together to tackle the issues in their community that they care most about. Through Interact, middle and high school-age students carry out hands-on service projects, develop leadership skills, make international connections and have fun. Every Interact club carries out two service projects a year: one that helps their school or community and one that promotes international understanding.
Ceres Unified School District has five Interact Clubs at Ceres, Central and Whitmore high schools and and at Cesar Chavez Junior High and Whitmore Charter Middle School.