Aside from being active in his junior year in high school as part of the Associated Student Body, Camilo Garcia Jr. will also have a big role in building a better community through Rotary’s Interact Club and doing “Service Above Self.”
Camilo, 16, a junior at Calexico High School, was recently elected to the Interact Board of Directors for the San Diego and Imperial Valley Rotary district. He was elected president of the school Interact Club last year when the club was formed by the Calexico Rotary Club.
Camilo attended the annual Interact Symposium event on Oct. 5 in San Diego. The meeting was about having the interacts learn more about the club and the service they do on a global scale, how to plan projects and other activities. He was selected from among many students to be on the board and was the only interact from Imperial Valley to be at the event.
“They taught us about how to do our meetings and plan projects for interact,” Camilo said.
Interact clubs bring together young people ages 12-18 to develop leadership skills while discovering the power of Service Above Self, the Rotary motto.
Interact clubs organize at least two projects every year, one that helps their school or community and one that promotes international understanding. Rotary club sponsors mentor and guide interactors as they carry out projects and develop leadership skills.
One of the projects Calexico High Interact is planning is to collect hygiene products that will be given to students who are homeless or whose their families can’t afford to buy them.
“This was something that we planned since last year and we would like to do it so they can get the things they need,” Camilo said.
He attended the symposium with his mother, Hortencia Armendariz, who works in the Calexico school district’s Family Resource Center and is the advisor for the Interact Club.
”I am very proud of Camilo and love the fact that he knows the value of service and has discovered the power of Service Above Self, ” Armendariz said.
Armendariz added she met advisors who were very knowledgeable about interact and was inspired to continue to lead and take Calexico students to another level.
“My goal for our students is for them to also learn the power of Service Above Self. I want them to take action by making a difference and becoming a leader at Calexico High School, their community and around the world,” Armendariz said.
Camilo said he is very methodical but is involved in many activities in high school.
He was selected as the city attorney for a day as part of the Calexico Junior City Council, during the Calexico 110th anniversary celebration last year. The Junior City Council was the youth-spinoff of the Calexico City Council that gave voice to the young people in city affairs.
Camilo said he wants to study commercial aviation-fixed wing with the goal of become an FBI pilot. At Calexico High he is the sound manager for the school and holds the title of corporal for his law enforcement class. He is also an explorer for the California Highway Patrol and an aviation explorer.
The Calexico High Interact Club is seeking new members. Any student interested may contact Armendariz at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Mario Conde is a member of the Calexico Rotary Club.