Thomas Jefferson

High School | Home of the Spartans

Interaction with the Community

Posted 12/12/2019 by Ryan Moe

The success of Interact is in large part due to the stellar leadership by Pana Reiva and Alice Larm. photo by the Yearbook Team

The TJ Interact Club received a national award for their charitable efforts this past year.

 Interact Club entails a great deal of responsibility and community involvement such as volunteering at various organizations and programs which assist the community. There are over 20,000 Interact Clubs all across the world and the benefits are endless.  Our Interact Club here at Thomas Jefferson High School is a very prestigious program, as it contains over 20 committed members who are actively involved in the community. Some of the activities the club at TJ has done in the past include cleaning the Platte River, volunteering at trauma-informed care center called Mount St. Vincent, assisting the Optimist Club at their annual tree lot, and participating in many other activities around our community. Grant Vanderiet, a junior here at TJ and an active member of the Interact Club, describes the value of partaking in the club and the benefits that stem from that participation.  “I enjoy giving back to the people and organizations around me and helping create a larger sense of community around my home.” 

Rotary International awards a presidential citation, a national award for outstanding Interact Clubs across the United States.  To get this award, a club must complete an application relating everything that the club did in the past year as far as community involvement and accomplishments.  Senior and President of the Interact Club, Pana Reiva, and Junior and Vice President, Alice Larm, wrote the application in hopes of receiving the Presidential Citation for TJ Interact.  The two wrote the application over the 2019 summer and spent nearly an entire week working on the piece with many rough drafts and edits from their advisors.  The structure of the application is split up into different categories, and in order to receive the citation, the club’s work for the year must apply to all of these categories.  Larm described the structure of her and Reiva’s application, “We listed everything that our club had achieved this past year, and at the beginning and end, we discussed the TJ Interact Club as a whole.”

The application eventually got the approval from Rotary International, and TJ Interact was awarded the Presidential Citation.  Even more, the citation was crowned with gold distinction, meaning TJ Interact received the highest level of recognition within Rotary International. When asked about the importance of this level of award, Larm responded, “This award is very prestigious because it distinguishes TJ Interact on a national level and gained exposure for everything our club has done.”  Larm and Reiva’s hard work paid off and TJ Interact is now nationally recognized and praised for their constant involvement in assisting organizations and people to help out the community as a whole.  

If you see your fellow Interact President and Vice President in the hall, make sure to congratulate them on their efforts and contribution to the school.  If you are looking to get involved with the community and make a change in the world around us, Interact Club at TJ is a great place to start. The group is open to anyone looking to join and meetings are every Monday during lunch in Mr. Shower’s room.  Sign up to make a difference.