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Interact - Andrea Sleeman
2011-2012 Club Secretary

September 6, 2011

One of the best decisions in my high school career was joining the Interact club. In my freshman year, I was one of the few freshmen in the club and then as my high school years progressed, I was able to have other classmates become involved. The Interact club was a life changing experience for me. I thought I had a good handle on what "service" meant, but I learned more about community service when I joined this club. Initially, I knew I liked to help out people and the community because it felt good to and I obtained a humbling

feeling inside and out. Then I learned that service could be done by the little things we do not just the big things. Over the years, I have tried to participate in more events for the Interact club because I feel I have a responsibility to help the community that I live in, in the best way possible.

The Interact club, every two years, has the opportunity to travel to Bennington's "sister city", Somotillo, Nicaragua. I had the great pleasure of going both times when it was offered during my high school career. Each year, when I went, we had the opportunity to do volunteer projects. I learned from this trip that material items like cell phones and ipods were not always needed. The trip-opened my eyes to thinking that after high school, I would like to continue this type of volunteer work. For the second trip, my responsibility was to gather medical material aid for the trip which we would donate to the hospital near our "sister city". The responsibility was a different experience for me, but it allowed me to be ready for the role I would have with the Interact club. Growing up, I felt that having parents who were a physical therapist and an orthodontist would lead me into the same fields for my career. It did not, but it did put me in the direction of the health careers. I have done as much as possible to get me ready for this kind of pathway. I have taken MedQuest and Advanced MedQuest; programs designed to explore the health care fields. I have taken the Medical Professions class, a midterm class through MAUHS, and a psychology class through CCV. Recently, I have taken an LNA class. I feel with all the experience I have done and seen, I am ready for the field of Nursing. I want to be a Nurse Practitioner. All the programs and classes have only set me up for what college and my job search should bring.

I am also a part of the recycling club, the beekeeping club and I am an athlete who likes to run, participating in Indoor and Outdoor track as well as cross country teams. I am also an active community member. I volunteer at my local church where I helped out with their annual bible camp and I am a volunteer at the local hospital. I do not hope to stop volunteering. I hope as the years go by, I am able to become involved with other projects such as Habitat for Humanity or travel to another country again to help their small communities grow. Volunteering does not stop with this club. It is constantly needed and present in everyone's life. And what an added dimension it is, one that enriches your own life.

Author: Sally Sugarman (Club Member & Windmill Editor)

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