Posted by David Button on Oct 15, 2021
 
Rotary has a lot to offer when it comes to Youth programs and personal development. Programs that can take a young person with potential and give them skills that can make them a leader is important for the growth of our community.
 
Recognition in the community that Rotary has a focus on promoting future potential leaders in our society is an important pathway to increasing public awareness that Rotary is a forward-thinking organisation. Unfortunately, we forget to tell our family, colleagues and friends about all the magical things we do to help make our world a better place. Rotary can and does change lives. It creates opportunities, it is a wonderful organisation.
 
This year, our Club is lucky to sponsor an outstanding young leader for the Rotary Youth Leader Awards (RYLA). Her name is Jessica Elfick. Jessica was our very first Interact President of the Interact Club of St Margarets School and Berwick Grammar School. Getting an Interact Club together from scratch took a lot of effort. Getting the school on board, creating awareness amongst the students, getting members and then embarking on projects is intense. Jessica did have help, but as the very first President, leadership was the key that made this Interact Club a success.
 
Here is a little more about Jess. 
 
My name's Jess, and I'm a first year uni student at the University of Melbourne! I'm currently studying a Bachelor of Design, attempting to major in Mechanical Systems Engineering and minor in Performance design (so a really broad mix!). I'm a passionate student and just love learning new things and being able to apply them to the world, and working with other people to do it.
 
Originally I am from the USA (though I've since dropped the southern accent), and have been on exchange programs to both England and China. I believe these have shaped me as a person - I have a huge passion for travelling! I've also always had a love for music, and that is one of my biggest passions.
 
For the past 9 years I've played the flute and sung in orchestras, choirs and for large crowds, as well as on local streets. I also adore working in the community and developing projects.
 
My high school's first Interact Club was a passion project of mine - I saw the opportunity to build a strong group to help people on a scale I could never individually, and started the club with the help of some amazing people. I am a current volunteer with the UniMelb chapter of Engineers without Borders, and regularly volunteer to tutor students from refugee backgrounds through the university program.
 
All in all, I think a mixture of a lot makes me who I am - everything from what I study, where I've been and what I like to do!