New youth Rotary Club comes to Maple Ridge

More than a dozen local students participated in the inaugural Interact club meeting on Jan. 7. (Brandon Tucker/The News)More than a dozen local students participated in the inaugural Interact club meeting on Jan. 7. (Brandon Tucker/The News)
More than a dozen local students participated in the inaugural Interact club meeting on Jan. 7. (Brandon Tucker/The News)More than a dozen local students participated in the inaugural Interact club meeting on Jan. 7. (Brandon Tucker/The News)
More than a dozen local students participated in the inaugural Interact club meeting on Jan. 7. (Brandon Tucker/The News)More than a dozen local students participated in the inaugural Interact club meeting on Jan. 7. (Brandon Tucker/The News)
More than a dozen local students participated in the inaugural Interact club meeting on Jan. 7. (Brandon Tucker/The News)More than a dozen local students participated in the inaugural Interact club meeting on Jan. 7. (Brandon Tucker/The News)
Interact club president Malia Mercado (left) and Councillor Ahmed Yousef (middle) both spoke at the inaugural Interact club meeting on Jan. 7. (Brandon Tucker/The News)Interact club president Malia Mercado (left) and Councillor Ahmed Yousef (middle) both spoke at the inaugural Interact club meeting on Jan. 7. (Brandon Tucker/The News)

Maple Ridge officially has a new youth club as the rotary group held its inaugural meeting at the Maple Ridge/Pitt Meadows Community Services building on Saturday.

The Interact club, which is now part of the Rotary Club of Golden Ears Sunrise, is the first program of its kind in Maple Ridge or Pitt Meadows in more than 30 years.

Councillor Ahmed Yousef, youth exchange chair for the rotary club, started the meeting by celebrating the local youth that had gathered to become the first members of this Interact club.

“Congratulations on being here and exhibiting this level of leadership and care for your community,” said Yousef.

“The Rotary Club of Golden Ears Sunrise is committed to sponsoring this new Interact club. Our rotary members will act as sponsors, guides, and mentors working alongside these interactors in our community. Our rotary club will also provide a financial contribution of $500 to help with the startup expenses of the new club.”

Yousef explained that the youth program, which includes locals between the ages of 12 and 18 years old, has a goal of organizing two projects each year.

“One that helps the schools in our community, and one that promotes international understanding and harmony,” explained Yousef.

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Malia Mercado, a 17-year-old student at Samuel Robertson Technical Secondary School, was inducted as the first president of the local Interact club and gave a short speech to those in attendance.

“Having Interact gives us youth an opportunity to have our voices amplified, and this is important because we are the future of our community,” said Mercado.

“I can’t wait to see what this group is going to accomplish.”

The new Interact club meets every second Saturday at 11 a.m. at the Maple Ridge/Pitt Meadows Community Services building. The next meeting will be held on Saturday, Jan. 21.

Anyone interested in joining the Interact club is asked to email goldenearsrotary@gmail.com.

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