This week several of the students involved in the Rotary Programmes at Glendowie College came to the club meeting and provided an enthusiastic and very articulate update of their involvement in the Interact Club, RYPEN and the Rotary Science and Technology Forum.  It was very clear that they were grateful for the opportunities provided to them through these programmes and were making the most of these.  Below is a summary of each from the student's perspective.
We were treated to a summary of the formation and growth of what has become the largest Interact club in New Zealand at 99 members.  The club was formed around the existing Student Council and students enticed to come and learn more by holding a Pizza Party.  Their first project was to sell Easter Eggs that initially raised $970.  This formed the catalyst for support via Oxfam of three water wells and two filtration packs each of which would serve 100 people in Vanuatu/Azerbaijan. Projects now in the planning stage are to obtain and distribute blankets to keep needy children warm this winter and a couple of environmental projects such as a beach clean-up.
The Interact club has proven that if you reach out to young people you come to realise that they actually want to do something useful for their community but it is not easy for an individual, particularly a young person, to do anything significant on their own. But the association with Rotary and its resources and the fact that a group working together has a dynamic and power that can get real meaningful things done. 
Georgia (pictured) attended the Rotary Science and Technogy Forum which she described as the "most exciting, and scary, days of my life."  There were 167 who quickly become her friends as they engaged in each day's activities, starting at 6am with an early morning fitness class.  She attended 16 science modules incorporating both lecture and lab work including such things as dissecting a heart and lungs ... something most students would never experience.  It was all an eye opener to see an environment that she could possibly work in in the future given her love of micro-organisims.  The modules she most enjoyed were the microbiology and astronomy modules and overall took away a renewed passion for science that has grown her as a person and clarified a real probability of a future career.  "It was two of the most fun and enriching weeks ever", she said.
RYPEN - Rotary Youth Programme of Enrichment was likewise an opportunity to grow and many took the chance when offered.  The talks by keynote speakers, particularly those who had found their identities in the face of adversity they had overcome were incredibly inspiring and created an awareness that it was for them to take charge of their own lives and create their own, inspiring stories through their own future actions.