- Kayla Sklar
- North Springs Charter High School
With no sponsor, no place to meet and a mere five members, Interact Club was unheard of by the majority of North Springs Charter High School students four years ago.
That was, of course, before Kayla Sklar, then a freshman, came along.
“I knew I wanted to join a community service group in high school,” Kayla said. “But it wasn’t until I talked to (then sophomore) Bethany Larkin at Relay for Life that I decided I wanted to be a member of Interact Club—some tiny club I didn’t even know about before. But she said the club did community service not to put it on a resume, but because they genuinely felt community service was the right thing to do. Immediately, I knew it was the right fit for me.”
Kayla began attending weekly meetings, held in a hallway. She watched the club expand before her eyes. Her sophomore year, the club had an official sponsor, language arts teacher Jackie Protos. Her senior year, when she became president, the club not only had a classroom to meet in, but also over 30 active members dedicated to community service.
“As cliché as it sound, there’s no better feeling than knowing you’re making someone life’s easier, and the Interact Club really pushes that,” Kayla said. “I realize how lucky I’ve been, and I want others to have the same opportunities. The club’s goal is to do everything possible to give others better circumstances.”
Under Kayla’s leadership, North Springs Interact Club, Rotary International’s service club for youth ages 12 to 18, became involved in dozens of community service projects, from helping struggling local elementary students read before school every Thursday morning to encouraging students to donate after the devastating earthquake in Haiti.
“Kayla is dedicated to making this world a better place and she’s already made quite an impact,” Protos said. “She has a compassionate heart, which is contagious. Kayla’s purpose in life is in fact a life of purpose.”
Despite Kayla’s busy schedule, which included a demanding schedule filled with honors and AP courses and heavy involvement in the drama magnet program, the Interact Club always remained her priority—a priority which has certainly paid off.
On May 24, the Rotary Club of Sandy Springs awarded Kayla its first Interact college scholarship. The $5,000 award was granted to Kayla after a competitive application process between Interact members at North Springs and Riverwood International Charter High School.
“Kayla shows a giving spirit in a world where giving isn’t necessarily ‘cool,’” said Betty Ferdinand, President of Rotary Club of Sandy Springs. “She has participated in efforts to provide service to others, promote integrity, advance world understanding, peace and goodwill. She is an excellent selection for the award.”
This fall, Kayla will attend the University of Georgia, where she has been accepted into the Honors program and plans to continue her theater involvement while pursuing a pre-business track.
Kayla intends to maintain her focus on community service by joining UGA’s Rotaract Club, the college and young professionals division of Rotary Club.
“Even though I’m moving on in my life, I don’t think I’ll ever lose my love for serving others,” Kayla said. “If anything, I think my dedication to service will just continue to grow.”