Interact AG Creates Volunteers Website
Being part of the Interact District Council means you are a leader who goes above and beyond with Interact and your passion for serving. A prime example of this is Francisco Bekele, a new addition to the Council. He has created a new website called Volunteer-Hero, which can help students track service hours and see options to gain more. I was able to ask him a few questions about himself, his experience in Rotary, and of course, his website! 
Please tell me about yourself and experience in the Rotary Family.
A: I am a high school senior at Sedona Red Rock High school and lived in the Verde Valley off and on for all of my life. I got involved with Interact my freshman year under the assurance that it would "look good for college." Looking back, I have come to realize that Interact means so much more than that. It taught me leadership skills, how important community service really is, and finally even helped me pay for some college (while still in HS) when no one else would. My junior year is when I became my club's treasurer, and also when I would heavily increase my involvement within Interact. After reaping the prior mentioned benefits, I wanted to repay Interact for all that it has done for me; so I applied to become a member of the Interact District Council.
Tell me a little about your website.
A: Volunteer Hero is a website designed to be utilized by schools and their affiliated clubs to effectively and securely log their students’ volunteer hours. Students can also use this website to download or print an official service transcript that can be customized by school admin (i.e. design/letterhead). This will give them a huge edge when applying for college/scholarships compared to their counterparts, who may just self-report their volunteer hours, or use old paper logs that can be easily damaged, lost, or manipulated. Another byproduct of the website would be an increase in competition between students, different service clubs, schools, and more, which would all result in our communities benefiting from this new surge of eager volunteers. While yes, we should all be motivated to volunteer out of the kindness of our hearts, and not for rewards, a little friendly competition never hurts.
What caused you to want to create the website?
COVID-19 transitioning my school to a virtual platform is what gave me this website idea. My Interact Club had always used paper logs, and during the spring of 2020 still encouraged us to volunteer. However, the problem was that we were unable to get our logs signed by advisors, due to the separation between teachers and students. This was a problem for many of my school's other service clubs as well. I had thought to myself "Why don't we also record hours virtually?" And after a little bit of research found that there was no website or app to solve this problem. Always having had a profound interest in coding, and seeing it become especially prevalent in today's society, I began on my long journey for this project.

What do you see for the future of this website?
A: The future of this website is limitless.  I see great potential in this website, and the goal this year is for it to become a household name for schools and students across AZ. I had presented this website to my school's administration.  Their only question was how quickly could we roll this out to all of our students in the district? We already have over 1500 students from multiple schools confirmed to register; and with Rotary's help, we could potentially have a few dozen schools using the platform by the start of this first semester.  Some future plans for this website include having an interactive bulletin board where organizations like Rotary could post volunteer opportunities for students to view and join, an app alongside the website available for IOS and Android, and finally an increased number of partnerships with corporations/organizations who may want to reward some exceptional students/clubs registered on the website.
How can Rotary help with this?
The most effective way for Rotarians to help turn these dreams into reality is by Spreading The Word!  Bringing this website up at your board meeting, presenting it to Interact affiliated schools, and finally, registering your own club, are all great ways to help. If you have an even better way to help this website flourish, then email me at, and I will respond promptly.
Interact leaders are amazing, talented people who can accomplish incredible things.  We are a part of the Family of Rotary.  We are People of Action.