One of the goals of the Northwest Community College Initiative Program is to encourage our students to get involved on campus and in the local community. Fransiska Palma, an Indonesian student studying project management at Edmonds Community College, writes about her experience joining Rotaract, a group for young adults associated with the Rotary Club. Here she describes getting involved with the organization and encourages other students to join the club:
I’m a Rotarian! A “Rotarian” is the nickname for a member of the Rotaract Club. I first heard about this club at the Club Fair in Brier Hall at Edmonds Community College (EdCC) this past October. I met Josh, one of EdCC students involved in the club. He said that this club started at EdCC in July of 2013 as part of the Lynnwood Rotary Club. Participation in the club is limited to students aged 18 to 30.
The EdCC Rotaract Club and Rotary Club of Lynnwood work together on some events. For example, the Rotary Club of Lynnwood has a meeting every Thursday in Woodway Hall. Every week, two students are welcomed to this meeting. Other past collaborative events include a harvest activity in Seattle last November where produce donations were gathered for distribution to food banks.
I decided to join the Rotaract Club because it offers many social activities, such as volunteering at a food bank and providing help food banks and meal programs across Washington State. I expect that joining this club can broaden my network with students as well as other people in the United States. I also expect that I can contribute to the community or society in United States through the club activities. This club usually meets twice a month in the Community Room of Rainer Place at EdCC. The students share and exchanges ideas, plan activities and projects, and talk about social activities
The first meeting of this club was in October 2013 with more than 15 students in attendance. One of the members of Lynnwood Rotary Club explained the history of Rotary Club, the organization structure, and club activities. We also met some members of Lynnwood Rotary Club. Dr. Jean Hernandez, the President of EdCC, also came to the meeting. She said that Rotaract is one of the clubs on campus that makes students closer to the community by doing social activities to help others. I
I learned more about this club at the second meeting and I learned more about the other members. We discussed the paperwork of Rotaract club and how to become a Rotarian, upcoming events, and what different committees we can join.
The third meeting really got the gears spinning. We divided into groups and brainstormed some ideas on how to help the community such as helping the homeless and less fortunate to stay warm in the winter. Other ideas included helping with early childhood education, a Christmas gift drive for foster homes, and speaking to kids as a mentor program. Also, some members stayed after the meeting to talk in a more informal setting. We had a good turn out and even the host of the event said our Rotary club was the “best” she had seen in the past five years.
The most recent meeting of this club was two weeks ago. There was a guest speaker in this meeting, Travis Arket, who has worked on the Deadliest Catch television program. Now, he is an entrepeuner and one of his businesses is the Goat outdoor store. Rotaract club and the Goat store will partner in the next Rotaract’s project, the Warm Coat Drive. We discussed the details of this project including the date, place, and what kind of warm clothes will be provided for the homeless.
It was a good opportunity to become a member of the Rotaract club. So far this club has really turned out to be very progressive and I look forward to upcoming events. I’m a Rotarian now, how about you? Come and join this club!