Concluding a Year of Service: Interact’s End-of-Year Picnic


Matthew Castano

Interact 2022-’23 Board members pose alongside their sponsor Ms. Depaola, remembering their years of service with the club and the positions they will pass down to next year’s incoming leaders.

In a world brimming with potential, young individuals possess the ability of shaping the future. Embracing this belief, the Interact Club has emerged as a catalyst for change and has brought together passionate individuals, eager to discovering the profound impact of ‘Service Above Self’. On May 13, Coral Gables Senior High’s Interact organized an end-of-year banquet to commemorate the culmination of a year filled with dedication and impactful initiatives. Starting at noon at Alice Wainwright Park, the picnic served as a reminder of the club’s achievements and provided an opportunity to honor its members’ hard work. 

“I joined Interact for the community. I loved that it was open to everyone and that there was so much connection between the members. Interact closes the gap between the different grade levels and academies, and it’s a great way to get involved in the community and the school,” junior Natalie Muniz said. 

The picnic commenced with a heartwarming reflection on the club’s accomplishments throughout the year. From each meeting to every event and fundraiser, each endeavor was acknowledged for its impact. Furthermore, the club’s unwavering commitment to supporting the local animal shelter was also highlighted, as the members reminisced on the famous Heel to Heal events.

“My favorite activity was the Cupid sales fundraiser we did here at the school. It allowed us to engage with the student body and have fun with doing proposals. Many people don’t know that not only does it benefit the club, but a portion of the profits are donated to local organization every year. This year we chose the YES Institute,” senior Itzhel Michel said.

Amidst the atmosphere of gratitude and appreciation, special recognition was given to the club’s board members for their leadership and dedication. The club’s sponsor Mrs. Depaola explained how their tireless efforts had been vital in shaping Interact’s success. Each board member was individually acknowledged, alongside each of their contributions and achievements, eliciting resounding applause and heartfelt gratitude from the attendees.

“I think the characteristic that Interact shows the most is unity. We try to unite the students of Gables to the community as much as we could by doing drives, fundraisers, and having guest speakers. As well, we have such a diverse group of students at the club and always welcome more all year long,” senior Itzhel Michel said.

As the club bids farewell to its board members, the focus shifted to the induction of the new board for the upcoming year. This moment symbolized a passing of the torch, as the new Interact leaders stepped forward to accept their roles and embrace the challenges and opportunities that lay ahead. 

With their commitment to service and a shared vision for a better world, the members pledged to uphold the Interact Club’s values of leadership, compassion and making a positive impact on society. Their introduction to the club’s 2023-24 board was signed by Rotary, setting their positions in stone. 

Following the formalities, attendees were treated to a variety of food and desserts, celebrating both the club’s achievements and the spirit of togetherness that defined Interact. Conversations and laughter filled the park, as members shared stories, forged new friendships and strengthened the existing bonds that had been nurtured throughout the year.

Additionally, participants eagerly embraced the opportunity to engage in other recreational activities. Volleyball matches and basketball games brought out the participants’ athleticism and teamwork.

“Interact gave me a chance to help my community and make new friends out of great people. [The club] activates a sense of awareness about your community, and Interact’s board has put a lot of hard work and dedication into it,” sophomore Matthew Castano said. 

As the day drew to a close, Interact’s members bid their farewells to the school year. Looking ahead to the future, the Interact Club and its members stand ready to embark on new endeavors. Inspired by the countless accomplishments of the past year, they stand ready to continue making a positive difference in their community and beyond.