Interact Insider | Issue 19

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Second Semester Second Semester

PWR PWR Coverage Coverage

It was finally time for one of the most anticipated events of the year… President’s Winter Retreat (PWR)! This year ’ s PWR was hosted at the wonderful camp, Walden West in Saratoga. At PWR, future leaders of many Interact clubs came together in order to strengthen their leadership skills and to have a fun time! “PWR is a place for the next generation of Interactors to meet and kindle their passion for service,” DC CoOutreach Coordinator Jason Tang said. The theme of PWR this year was “Gravity Falls” and Bill Cipher, the villain in the saga who has trapped everyone at the camp. This two-day retreat consisted of many twists and turns, but at the end of the day, everyone was able to work together as a team to make this an amazing experience.

PWR started off with introductions and a very memorable speech presented by professional speaker and social entrepreneur, Mitty Chang. His inspiring speech motivated all Interactors to chase their dreams no matter the circumstances, and to always “try everything three times”. As Interactors started to get excited about the fun-filled journey to come, they were put into families and headed to their first workshop. These workshops focused on team building and cooperation because, without them, there would be difficulty leading a team. Personally, my favorite workshop was where Interactors were put into teams and had to fill out a checklist of tasks before the other teams did. There were many setbacks that were presented throughout the game, which represented the many struggles that can occur throughout life and leadership. Within my team, we acknowledged each other’s strengths and weaknesses, and were able to assign each of our teammates certain

tasks to complete in the allotted time. When told that we had another chance to complete all the tasks again, we prioritized tasks that received more points rather than those that received less. This workshop made me realize the importance of working together as a team and recognizing the team’s individual strengths and weaknesses.

After participating in a total of four workshops, all families joined into a costume making contest! It was fun to see all the interesting outfits and hype up everyone as they strutted down the runway. There was also a relay race between all families, consisting of mini games such as bal spoon and a three-legged race



When taking a break from all the activities, all of

Alexandra Phan & Akhil Raote
Daybreak DC

After a long day of constant engagement, a good rest was well deserved. However, at the crack of dawn, many Interactors woke up to gaze at the sunrise! Although the sunrise was not the most visible, it was nice to enjoy the scenery and deer wandering about. To end off our time atPWR, we revealed the hidden key that Bill Cipher had given us to escape the camp. As co-publications coordinator, Akhil Raote states, “PWR was really a way to see the district at its best and most inspiring, and we hope our attendees can take this insight back to their home clubs!”

Newsletter @ PWR

PWRing up, PWRing up, reflecting back reflecting back

February comes with a new light. We’re learning from our mistakes of January, where we went wrong, and where we didn’t quite meet our resolutions. Reflective and prospective, Valentine's month brings up the importance of this quote: “A life spent making mistakes is not only more honorable but more useful than a life spent doing nothing” - George Bernhard Shaw. Let us PWR up the month, looking at what’s happening, reflecting on what’s past, and thinking about what we can do!

Before we get into the month’s reflections, here’s a truly connecting event. As per the namesake, PWR, the President’s Winter Retreat, is a group of dedicated Interactors, ready to take the initiative into an Interact club leader. For the first overnight PWR in several years, dedicated Interactors unite to define the passion embodying their service above self. They will be able to take part in many activities that define their PWR to change the communities, which they will bring to their very own clubs.

As we look back on the month

January, a mo where we expe to see


that it passed so qui What we hope meet with a fre mind, high grades, and lo of sleep, met the exact
2023 PWR Attendees

opposite. Remember that January is the start of the year. 11 months to meet your yearly goals. Stay at it, keep at it, and don’t give up! It’s the SZN to PWR up.

This is the time in the year when you reflect and tell yourself where you need to go. Aim for the goal. Missing a little is okay - a soccer goal doesn’t have to be in the center of the goal. But get close to your goal, and that’s what you need to set. Interact with your goal, if it will be through Interact or not.

A12 Interactors commit themselves to service above self - but one cannot contribute best without the inspiration and mentality of themselves. By coming together in lighthearted club bondings, A12 fosters a healthy club dynamic despite the harsh environments spinning around them. Take a moment out of your day to make sure you ’ re allowing yourself to rest because by doing so, you serve others by elevating the service you provide.

Area News Area News

Spreading the Spreading the Love: February Love: February with Area 3 with Area 3

This past month has been hectic for Area 3. From helping plant plants to crocheting hearts for Joni&Friends, it’s clear that interactors across the area have been spreading the love.

Fertile Groundworks

On Saturday, February 11th, Dublin Interactors had the opportunity to volunteer at the Fertile Groundworks Farm, which donates it’s produce to food banks like Angel’s Kitchen! Dublin Interact President Adora Do says that, “it was an especially interesting experience [as] it was a volunteer experience that [you could physically get your hands on].” She feels that, “[she] did have an impact because [she] saw the results of [her] work as [she] was completing it.” Don’t

worry if you couldn’t make it, other dates include March 4th and April 29th from 9:30-12PM. Dublin Interactors, make sure to check the slides for more details and where to sign up!

Dublin and Foothill

High Valentine’s Day Event

As Dublin Event Coordinators, Siqi Li, and Kaylin Hoang said in the last issue, they hoped to collaborate with more clubs within Area 3, in which this event does just that! Dublin and Foothill Interactors are invited to make Valentine’s Day cards and crochet hearts to donate to Joni&Friends. Joni&Friends provides outreach to families affected by disability around the globe, and “trains, disciple, and mentor people affected by

disability.” Li says that “it’ll be really fun for both schools to be able to bond and meet new people.”

Area 3 Charity Dinner/Benefit Show

Calling all talented interactors in Area 3! Performers (actors, dancers, singers) are welcome to perform in the Benefit Show (End of March/Early April) to raise money for our projects this year. Rotarians will be in attendance, and lots of volunteer opportunities are available to Interactors by helping in different committees. Links to sign up will be at the end of the article.

Well, that’s it for the month of February! I hope you all spread the love this month, and look out for more volunteer opportunities throughout the district, area, and home club. See you next month!

Area 3 Benefit Show Performance Interest Form:

Area 3 Benefit Show Volunteering:

Crustacean Crustacean Nation Nation

Interactors don’t typically associate service with utter humiliation, but at Newark Rotary’s annual crab feed at the end of January, volunteers were presented with the opportunity to do just that. At the event, students came from across all of Area 4 to set up for a crab feed and serve the Rotary supporters who joined for the evening. Additionally, Rotary provided its younger counterparts with th t i l t k th t s

for the night, a map of the venue, and instructions for each task. This organization from the Newark Rotarians is a great resource for Interactors to learn from in order to progress to be better leaders and plan more orderly events in the future.

During the experience, a volunteer from American High School, Vincent Nghiem, was able to dress in a handmade crab costume and run around the tables yelling, “It’s Crab O’Clock!” This boldness in character is a prime example of putting service above self to serve others, and being willing to embarrass oneself is essential as a leader as well to be able to stand up for one ’ s opinions and beliefs. This is a valuable lesson that Interactors

should keep with them, and as Vincent said, “We are often vulnerable to becoming lost in self-interests, and in this sense, acts of service are essential to realizing the role that the individual is obligated to fulfill in a larger world.”
Through future service events, Interactors should always remember that

Outlines, Outlines, Designs, and Designs, and Events for Events for Valentines Valentines

Can you all believe it’s March already?

With school and clubs, I definitely didn’t. Regardless, I hope you all had a wonderful February filled with love for yourself and others. As we slowly transition into the blooming spring, let’s recap on what Area 6 schools did near the end of this lovely winter season!

Piedmont Hills Walkathon

On February 25 from 10 AM to 12 PM, Piedmont Hills is hosting their first big walkathon at Penitencia Creek! Because this is a huge event, uniting 5 of the biggest service clubs in PHHS, specific

details are still being outlined as we plan and prepare for this walkathon (even though you’ll be reading this after the event). However, attendees can expect to walk around the track with friends while listening to speaker music and gaining volunteer hours, earn rewards at lap milestones, buy some treats at our corresponding fundraiser and earn prizes as the top three walkers!

Penitencia Creek

Milpitas High School Valentine’s Day

Fundraiser Creative Interactors and crocheters, yet again, have stuck together to design and create lovely goodies to sell at their

Valentine’s Day fundraiser on February 13th and 14th! Interact President Therese Sanchez agreed that starting another collaboration with Crochet Club and “selling something heart-themed” would help spread the love! And I definitely agree. They’ve spread the love alright – as these designs included crochet heart keychains for $4 and Interact Goody Bags for $5! The organizers have been planning it out since December, so thanks to all who supp Crochet Club and b keychains and bags!

Independence High School

Valentine’s Day Fair Last but not least is Independence High School’s Valentine’s Day Fair! The event took place on February 3rd and featured countless Valentine-related activities for students to enjoy: cookie decorating, dating games, a basket raffle, ring toss, tarot card reading and DIY card making!

As exciting as these events sound, there are many more happening in Area 6! Active Interact clubs are continually making volunteer events for their Interactors, like “Hope for the Unhoused,” “Our City Forest,” “Valentine Fun Run Walk,” and much more. See you next time and stay tuned to see what A6 has set for March!

SJUSD’s Clubs SJUSD’s Clubs Starting Back Up Starting Back Up Again Post-Lawsuit Again Post-Lawsuit

Though it has been a whole semester of Interact, clubs have just taken off for about half of Area 7- including Willow Glen High School, Leland High School, Gunderson High School, and Pioneer High School: all the schools part of the San Jose Unified School District (SJUSD).

The school district had been going through a lawsuit - one that put all clubs on hold, and risked eliminating the future of all clubs. Essentially, four years ago,

SJUSD faced a lawsuit on the basis of discrimination. The Fellowship of Christian Athletes (FCA), a club at Pioneer High School, was revealed to be discriminatory on the basis of sexual orientation - the international organization had contracts that the officers of all clubs had to sign, and some of the conditions of being officers were only allowing straight heterogeneous members in the club. When the high school and its school district disbanded the club on terms of discrimination, the FCA sued the district on the same basis of discrimination because what the district failed to realize was that the FCA was not the only discriminatory club that Pioneer had (for example, the Senior Women Club). So far, there have been two court cases. The district won the first case, however, the FCA won the second. Because there is one more court case that the district is determined to win by proving that there is zero discrimination in all schoolaffiliated clubs, as of semester one the district decided that it would have been

better to eliminate all clubs.

However, the district came up with the simple idea that to be a school-affiliated club, you must follow all school/district rules and regulations, making sure no discrimination was possible again. This allowed for a wave of club rush days for the schools in the district to kick off the second semester. “I understand why the lawsuit occurred and is happening, but I didn’t think it was fair that clubs would be put on hold for the entire school and affect people that are uninvolved”, said Pioneer High School Interact President Emily Wei. Though the circumstances were unfortunate, all the clubs that were interviewed actually reported a positive outcome from a late club rush day.

Leland High School’s VP Sharon Kim discussed how “through the semester ‘off’ from clubs, there was a lot of time to promote the club to friends and on social media, which ended up successful since the first meeting had a class full of interested students…Club rush day went pretty great for me. ” Emily Wei’s feedback was also pretty similar, as she said Pioneer’s “member count has actually increased [and] it seems that the late start to the year for clubs has made members become more engaged”; for the actual club rush day, Pioneer got more members, as “ a lot of people seemed interested in the service

MECHS MECHS IInteract nteract

As Interact clubs make their way through their second year back in-person, Mission Early College High School Interact Club President Surabhi Pandey is excited for what’s to come this semester.

This year is Pandey’s second year as MECHS Interact Club’s President. When reflecting on her first year, she remembers adjusting to an in-person environment while adapting to new club responsibilities.

“It was a rough start initially, it being my first year as club president as well as area director while also being the first year with in-person events. It was a lot of firsts that year, for both me and members,” Pandey said.

For Pandey, service projects are engaging and bring Interactors together to put service above themselves. Her favorite service project was during the pandemic where club members prepared care packages for their community.

“One of my favorite events we ’ ve ever done was in my first year, when the project was focused on COVID-19. We made care packages for local clinics and people in the school community like teachers,” Pandey said.

Surabhi Pandey

As more people learn about Interact, Surabhi welcomes new members and hopes that people can find an outlet to give back to their community through it.

“Interact is such a beautiful club,” Pandey said. “A lot of people might not realize how much of a difference one school club can make.”

Miscellaneous Miscellaneous

Area 1’s Favorite Area 1’s Favorite Acts of Self-Care Acts of Self-Care

Breaking news: February’s back at it again! It’s throwing couples into a “honeymoon phase,” urging those with crushes to confess, and providing singles with popcorn as they watch everyone ’ s love life unfold before them. As unbelievable as it seems, everyone here actually has something in common when it comes to love: the ability to practice self-care.

Self-care not only boosts confidence, but it also reduces stress and anxiety because when we take care of ourselves mentally and physically, we are more relaxed. As a result, we ’ re able to solve problems better and view things more positively. Practicing self-care is a healthy way to increase happiness,

fulfillment, and gratitude in/for life, but it can look different for everyone.

For A1 Interactor M, their favorite form of self-care is taking showers because “showering activates a period of new ideas, [a] reflection of the day, and a 1530 minute period where [they] can just sit there and fi [themsel es] p No matter how stress benefit fro favorite so shower tho For A1 Interactors A and E, they prefer taking walks. “Taking a step outside and being by yourself, in an environment wherein people are themselves and one

is oneself, has always brought me this sense of sobriety and the greatest result

in calming myself,” says Interactor A. Interactor E shares a similar view, stating, “Finding new local areas to explore and learn more about your community is something that helps me calm down and destress from everything that is going on with life.”

Whether it be taking showers or walks, all forms of self-care are valid and

Music 2 your ears Music 2 your ears

Happy February Interactors! Hopefully, all of you are slowly navigating through your post-holiday blues better than I am and getting your academic endeavors kicked back into full gear! If you are among the majority of people that enjoy

get through the seemingly eternal study sessions. Without further delay, let’s hear what these interactors have to offer!

With February being the month of Valentine’s, it's only right to start off on a romantic note. Area 2’s Nicole Chen’s “favorite favorite album of all time” is “Cry” by Cigarettes After Sex. Although “ every song in the album is a banger”, her absolute favorite is “Touch”. In addition to the aforementioned track, she also recommends “Freudian” by Daniel Caesar and “Ctrl” by SZA.

Interactor X suggests “Dawn Defibrillation, Vol.1” by Dvwn for its “calm but meaningful vibe”. Last but not least, my album recommendation would be “Nicole” by NIKI. After accumulating close to an hour of listening time, my favorite track on the album is definitely “Oceans & Engines”. The mix of Rnb and soul work in ways you can’t imagine and make for a good listen.

Regardless of music preference, hopefully there is at least one song that you resonate with. Happy February from Area 2! I strongly encourage you all to take some risks this month to confess to the person you ’ ve been laying your eyes on; after all, you only live once and may live to regret it in the future… Best of luck to you all! See you next month!

Love At First Bite: Love At First Bite: February Food Spot February Food Spot Recommendations Recommendations

Happy February District 5170! With Valentine's Day just around the corner, sharing a meal with someone is a meaningful and authentic way to connect with others (food is a universal love language after all). Whether you are going on a date with your lover or hanging out with friends, here are some food recommendations that highlight some Asian Cuisine in the Bay Area.

Danbi Korean Restaurant

Danbi Korean Restaurant is a familyowned Korean restaurant located in San Jose and is known for its authentic Korean dishes and exceptional customer service. The food is served in warm and comforting family-style portions and tastes remarkable with every bite. My

favorite dish to order from there is the Kimchi Fried

Danbi Korean Restaurant's Kimchi Fried Rich
guage that

Leadership in Leadership in Literature: A10 Literature: A10 Favorite Books with Favorite Books with Leadership Themes Leadership Themes

Area 10 stresses the vital importance of literature in our pursuit of knowledge and personal development. Therefore, we wanted to share with you all the books that have transformed us into better leaders.

Man’s Search for Meaning by Viktor Frankl:

This novel describes Viktor Frankl’s time spent in the Nazi concentration camp, Auschwitz, during the Holocaust. Frankl was able to retain clarity and hope despite all of the suffering he endured because he concluded that there “must be meaning in suffering.” He reminds those fortunate enough to read this novel that we must determine our own meaning of life through our own actions.

Maya Bensen, A10: This book provides hope to anyone who reads it. It reminds me that we always have the ability to choose our attitude. It also reminds me of the power of purpose, which I believe is deeply intertwined with acts of service. Overall, it makes me very grateful for the power of beauty to help us overcome the harshest of experiences. It makes me want to spread this beauty through love and leadership.

Alchemist by Paulo Coelho: This novel highlights how life is an adventure. Therefore, we should all be aiming to live up to our own particular legends, which Coelho defines as what you have always wanted to accomplish. This spirit is modeled through the story of a boy named Santiago. On his journey to seek treasure in the Egyptian pyramids, he finds the true importance of who he is and how to improve himself.

Chase Welle, A10: "This book makes me want to better myself. It was through reading this book that I learned you can only find the answers you seek within yourself, no one is going to answer them for you. I try to incorporate this principle into all aspects of my life, including leadership. After prioritizing selfreflection, I found that other things came easily. When I got to know myself better, I was able to connect and communicate with others in a whole new way. "

The Stranger by Albert Camus: The Stranger stresses the belief that we are all individually responsible for our own life. The novel’s main character, Meursault, is so detached he even

feels no emotion at his own mother’s funeral. Later in the story, he kills a man and is sentenced to death. Camus’

central themes revolve around the consequences (on oneself and others) of such an indifference outlook on the world. It beckons the reader to question: what is the meaning of life, if there is any meaning at all?

Rex Denger, A10: Honestly, this book made me quite uncomfortable at times. Meursault’s emotional indifference is definitely not what I wanted to highlight about The Stranger, although it is crucial to the development of major themes. What I really enjoyed about this book was the acknowledgment of inadequate traditional values and how not everyone necessarily fits these strict molds. I think reading the story from this unique perspective and experiencing a completely different walk of life from my own has increased my understanding, and I plan to incorporate this newfound awareness into my leadership. We hope that you enjoy reading these picks!

Event Spotlight: Event Spotlight: Grassroots Grassroots Ecology Ecology

The sky is bright with the sun overhead, beating down on a wooden building in the middle of the tree-covered hills. The building itself is uninteresting, but what does catch the eye is the flashes of purple by the roadside and the circle of people gathered on the lawn. Watering cans occupy a space in the parking lot; new sprouts spring from the dark soil; lichen sways on the branches of old, knotted trees. The air is buzzing and the people are friendly, already waving as you walk up. This is the Foothills location for Grassroots Ecology, a nonprofit organization dedicated to habitat restoration, urban ecology, and environmental education.

Stretching across the Santa Clara and San Mateo counties, Grassroots engages and educates the public on local ecosystems. Their goal is to restore habitats and for that, they rely on both individual and group volunteers that is where Area 13 Interact comes in. We supply those volunteers so Grassroots can help our environment thrive. In past events, we ’ ve helped pull weeds, water flowers, and replant native blooms. The work was hot and hard, wearing long pants, a hat, and sunscreen, but there’s nothing more rewarding than the small ache in your

back after bending over the gardens.

For those interested, Grassroots takes prior registration at teer. There are both group events, which are great for whole clubs, and individual ones, allowing for flexibility of time and place. They’re quick, single-day sessions, perfect for a busy high school season. If you ’ re extremely passionate about ecology Grassroots also offers a Youth

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