They have big plans for the new school year. Huntington High School’s Interact club members and the organization’s faculty advisor are a determined bunch, but for a little extra dose of inspiration the group recently headed into Manhattan for WE Day UN at the Theater at Madison Square Garden.
Club members aren’t afraid to work. Since the group was reinvigorated a few years ago, they have engaged in projects in the local community and traveled as far as Tanzania in Africa to pursue their goal of making a real difference in the world.
“Interact is a community service club that works on projects locally and then mimics those tasks abroad,” faculty advisor Camille Tedeschi said. “We love to help people and it is always rewarding when we collaborate with the high school student government and Young Leaders on a variety of community service activities. The more people work together for a shared vision of peace and hope the more people we can help. Spreading positive energy and working together is essential
Huntington teacher Camille Tedeschi
is Interact's faculty advisor.
Accompanied by Huntington High School security guard Sylvia Belanger, Ms. Tedeschi led a contingent of seven of the club’s officers into New York City for WE Day UN, which was planned to coincide with the opening of the United Nations’ 72nd annual General Assembly session. Along with a crowd of 6,000, they heard from authors, entertainers, humanitarians and even the Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau that they really are capable of changing the world.
“WE Day is the manifestation of the WE Movement, an ocean of people coming together to create impact,” according to the organization. The Huntington Interact contingent joined more than 200,000 young people and educators that came together at 14 large arena and stadium gatherings across Canada, the United States and the United Kingdom to participate in what amounts to an unprecedented educational initiative.
“WE is a movement that exists for one reason: to make the world a better place,” according to the organization. “We are shameless idealists who believe that there is a version of our highest selves that comes from living a life of daily legacies. Our lives take on a deeper, transformative meaning when we impact the lives of others. I am WE.”
Admission tickets to WE Day UN weren’t sold. “People earned their entry by taking action on one local and one global cause,” according to the organization. “WE Day celebrates and inspires this generation’s shift from ‘me’ thinking to ‘we’ acting, building a better world where everyone has the power to speak out and make choices that have a positive impact.”
Natalie McCann and Quinn Blackburn are the co-presidents of Huntington’s Interact club. Noah Morris (vice president), Mia Nitekman (treasurer) Katie Stock (corresponding secretary), Phoebe Walther (recording secretary), Katie Riley (historian), Haley Mortell (public relations coordinator), Jackson Pitti (administrative assistant) and Christiana DeLuca (administrative assistant) round out the organization’s corps of officers.
“Living ME to WE means working together to create sustainable change, and making a difference with everything you do; from choosing travel that leaves a positive footprint on the planet, to making purchases that give back,” according to the organization.
The Interact club members are determined to make this the best year yet for the organization. “We raised $406 at our first bake sale and all proceeds will be matched by Allstate and donated to hurricane relief projects,” Ms. Tedeschi said. “The energy level in the club is high and not one that can be easily matched. We have a lot of fun working as a group and love to give where we live.”
As the Interact club members begin to put their plans for the year into full motion, high school students, faculty and staff will see a flurry of activity and so will the community.
“This year our goals are to continue working with local homeless veterans, making rafiki bracelets to sell and raise money to donate to Eli’s fund; sell rafikis in collaboration with ‘ME to WE’ to help send kids to school in Kenya and to raise money to donate to projects in India to help rebuild from the recent devastating floods,” Ms. Tedeschi said.