Foothill Tech’s Interact Club: A great way for students to make a positive impact on the world


Chloe Zarrinkelk

The Interact Club at Foothill Technology High School is a socially motivated club that seeks to bring together classmates and create a welcoming environment for everyone.

Camilla Lewis, Writer

Among the various clubs at Foothill Technology High School (Foothill Tech), one that stands out in particular is the Interact Club. Through organized events and other acts of kindness, Foothill Tech’s Interact Club offers students a chance to not only make an impact in the Ventura County community, but also internationally. Plus, it is even a good way to earn volunteer hours. The club is very involved in the local community and always tries to have a project to work on at club meetings. These meetings are held on the third Thursday of every month during lunch time, where students of all grades are welcome to join. The club is overseen by Ken Leandro and Media Center librarian Dianne Fergus, who work together to maintain an environment that encourages the students of Foothill Tech to get more involved with their community, while also helping them grow their leadership skills. 

Interact clubs are a staple found in many high schools—in fact, there are 10,700 Interact clubs around the world. They are usually completely student run, and Foothill Tech’s even has a board that its students can get voted onto. While students are the main contributors that make the Foothill Tech Interact Club so successful, it was actually established by the Rotary Club of Ventura, also known as the “Downtown Club.” To keep the club running smoothly, there is a Rotarian advisor and a school advisor. Leandro, the Rotarian advisor, and Fergus, the school advisor, always try to have a project for the club to work on that meets three different levels of assistance to the community. 

The first level of assistance is based on making a kind impact at Foothill Tech, while the second level focuses more on the community of Ventura County as a whole. Lastly, the third level of assistance is about helping to make a difference at an international scale. 

The goal of Interact overall, is to foster leadership in high school students.

— Ken Leandro

When it comes to making an impact at Foothill Tech, sometimes all that it can take is a kind gesture. One way that the Interact Club does this is by setting up a station where students can fill out gratitude cards for faculty, administrative staff and teachers. These cards are then given out to the recipients and allow the staff at Foothill Tech to feel their students’ appreciation for all of the hard work they put into the school. 

Oftentimes, the club works on larger community events that focus on Ventura County as a whole. These can vary from coat or canned food drives, to events that provide many different acts of service. One of the Interact Club’s bigger events for the community in 2022 was the West Side Kids Holiday Event held Dec. 17, where the Rotary Club, Arise Ventura and the Boys & Girls Club of Greater Ventura worked together to provide for families in need during the holiday season. The event had seven stations, which contained different necessities and goodies for families to pick out. The items ranged from free coats, earrings, and toys, to free house cleaner, Bibles and food.

While the Interact Club mainly focuses on ways to give assistance to the community in Ventura County, once a year they work at making an impact at an international level. One of the ways that they did this in the past was by working with Rise Against Hunger, which provided all of the supplies and food for student volunteers to pack. The volunteers were made up of Interact Club members from multiple schools, as Foothill Tech invited Ventura High School (VHS), Saint Bonaventure High School (SBHS) and Buena High School (BHS) to lend help. Together they packed, weighed and sealed about 10,000 boxes of food in the Media Center, which then got shipped off to a high school in Central America. 

Among all of the different ways that Foothill Tech’s Interact Club makes a positive impact in the community, one thing that never changes is the importance of student volunteers who are determined to make a change. Morgan Houston ‘25 explained that it was actually the Rise Against Hunger event that inspired her to become more involved with the community and stay a member of the Interact Club. “It’s been a really cool experience to get to be more involved in [the] community and [to] get to work with different people,” Houston stated.

While the club offers great opportunities to become more involved, it also allows for students to grow their leadership skills. Arvin Fu ‘23 has been a part of Foothill Tech’s Interact Club for all four years of his high school experience, and has been able to fill different important positions over time. His sophomore year he joined the board, which allowed him to become treasurer in his junior year. Then, during his senior year, he became president of the Interact Club. 

Overall, Foothill Tech’s Interact Club provides an amazing opportunity to become more proactive in the community, whether it be at school, around town or even internationally. Not only does the club create a more positive impact in the world, but it also makes an impact on the students themselves. They realize how many lives they can reach with just one kind act, while also learning the values of good leadership. So, if you’re looking for ways to become more involved with the community and want to grow as an individual, then the Interact Club may be the perfect place for you. 

What do you think?