Carnegie Vanguard High School Interact Club’s International Festival
Our high school service club was founded on Edward Everett Hale’s idea that: “I am only one, but I am one. I cannot do everything, but I can do something. And I will not let what I cannot do interfere with what I can do.”
For the past four years, one Friday in November our “something” has come to exemplify the diversity and global awareness present in one microcosm of our city: Carnegie Vanguard High School’s International Festival. The event that takes place is completely student-run, planned with the support of a service-minded community of Rotarians, and benefits peers across the world.
Last year, the Third Annual International Festival showcased the food, games, and performances of seven distinct cultural regions spanning from the Cape of Good Hope to the Yangtze River and everywhere in between. A silent auction, photo booth, and interactive inflatables brought traditional festival elements to the event as well. However, the most unique component of all was the cause. Every attendee knew that every entrance pass, food ticket, and silent auction bid was going towards addressing a very real need. The $14,412 raised last year more than doubled our funds raised the year before that and far surpassed our goal of $12,000 and allowed us to construct the outdoor sports court at the Phatsimong Adolescent Centre in Botswana, Africa to serve students just like ourselves who unfortunately suffer from HIV/AIDS.
This year, we hope to achieve similar success with the help of the larger Houston community. Our $15,000 goal will go towards another youth and health focused project this time much closer to home in Chinandega, Nicaragua. The Children of the Dump organization serves a particularly impoverished community living with little access to resources such as education, safe shelter, and sanitary conditions we tend to take for granted. We hope raffle tickets, silent auction prizes, hundreds of unique food items, fun activities, and professional cultural performances will allow us to match and exceed our goal. Smaller events like the Name that Flag competition and Pepper-eating contest also offer festival visitors opportunities to win gift cards donated by local businesses dedicated to supporting our mission to once again uplift a community abroad.
If a group of 100 high school students can achieve the success we had last year with the help of our peers, families, and Rotary friends, the possibilities for this year with the support of the entire city are incomprehensible. I therefore invite you to enjoy a night of fun in Midtown, eat deliciously diverse food, watch incredible performances, and help us continue a legacy of international mindfulness! See you at the Fourth Annual International Festival on November 13, 2015 at Carnegie Vanguard High School!
For more information visit our club website cvhsinteract.weebly.com, email us at [email protected], check out our official Facebook event page “Fourth Annual International Festival,” or watch our promotional video for last year’s festival.
Story by and Photos Courtesy of Pamela Banner and Annum Sadana