Interact is Rotary's program to introduce high school students to the concept of Rotary and service above self. The Bellevue Breakfast Rotary Club sponsors the Interact Club of Forest Ridge and has since its inception in 2016. Every year the Interact club boasts a roster of over 100 members. The members volunteer at Harvest For Hunger (previously Rotary First Harvest also Northwest Harvest) on regular Saturdays. Some of their own community service projects include:
- Baking healthy treats through Teen Feed’s CupcakeUP Campaign;
- Making 100 sandwiches on a bi-weekly basis for Operation Nightwatch’s Street Ministry Program;
- Working on introducing blanket making for Operation Nightwatch; and
- Letter writing to incarcerated youth or adults for the Valentine’s Day season.
They have also been reliable volunteers to organize and operate our 10k water tables at our All in for Autism Walk/Run. Our club offers a scholarship to participating Interact members.
Washington DECA (wadeca.org)
The Bellevue Breakfast Rotary Club supports the Washington DECA organization and the students it serves through its entrepreneurship education and competitions with financial support as well as the talent of our members. DECA competitors from Newport High School, Sammamish High School, Interlake High School, and Bellevue High School have presented their business plans to our club in advance of their national and international competitions. We're proud to help support Washington DECA with help toward student travel costs to the DECA National/International Event in May for all 5 high school teams in Bellevue. Additionally, each year members from our club volunteer as judges at the local event. One of our favorite presentations this year: Footlong Fritters in Factoria.
Student of the Month
The Bellevue Breakfast Rotary Club seeks out deserving high school students to recognize and celebrate. Our Student of the Month program recognizes students for 8 months, from October to May. We work with teachers and counselors at Sammamish High School, Eastside Preparatory, Bellevue Christian, and Eastside Academy to select students every month. We make these presentations at our meetings twice a month. Our club loves the opportunity to hear from these students as they make their presentations. They inspire us to see all the good and the hard work youth in our community are up to today.
Rotary Youth Leadership Awards (RYLA)
The Rotary Youth Leadership Awards (RYLA) program is an internationally recognized leadership training program specifically for outstanding youth with exceptional leadership potential. Held over a 4-day weekend each March at Pacific Lutheran University (PLU) in Tacoma, RYLA is an intensive leadership training conference and workshop. The program has been carefully designed to provide basic leadership training and experience for young people from Western Washington and Canada. The program includes lectures and discussion periods with skilled and prominent leaders, as well as recreation, good food, and fellowship.
As supporters of RYLA, the Bellevue Breakfast Rotary Club traditionally recruits and sponsors two or three high school students to attend the RYLA weekend. We seek students who are sophomores or juniors in high school, and who have either demonstrated some leadership ability or who are seen by their peers and/or counselors as having leadership potential and would have high likelihood to benefit from the experience.
2020 marks the 51st year of RYLA. Over 5400 students have had the opportunity to participate in this rewarding experience. Though this year’s session was cancelled due to COVID, organizers are creating a virtual event this summer. The BBRC sends applications to all schools including Interact at Forest Ridge. The PLU campus is beautifully equipped with all the facilities to conduct a seminar geared to helping young people carry forward an exciting program of self-discovery.