CCISD Interact Club participates in Rice Drive

Jasmine Garza, Editor-in-Chief

Clear Springs senior Stephen Louis decided to leap into a new idea and see what difference he could make with a large group of people and multiple grains of rice.

As president of a youth service-leadership organization called the Interact Club, the club is dedicated to improve the condition of the world and its inhabitants, while empowering young people to be the ones who make the change.

The Rice Drive is a concept created by Louis to see the impact a group of people could have on the world when they came together at a certain time for one cause.

“The idea for the Drive itself was mine. I had known of the website and thought it would be interesting to see how much could be raised when a group of people made a concerted effort to do as much as possible. It was very much inspired by the Vlogbrothers John and Hank Green,” Louis said.

Free Rice is a website in association with the United Nations that allows you to choose from different subjects and answer questions. For each question you get correct the difficulty increases and ten grains of rice get donated to a person in need.

Beginning last year Springs’ Interact Club challenged the student body to Rice Up, a concept created by Louis after raising almost exactly 300,000 grains of rice through a Facebook page he managed as a sophomore. Throughout the one day challenge last year, Springs managed to raise almost 450,000 grains of rice in one day giving the Interact sponsors the idea to expand it.

“The Interact hosted one in October of my junior year and raised almost 450,000 in a single day. Then our sponsors Mr. Harris and Ms. Deckert had the idea to expand it,” Louis said.

This year Rice Drive became a district challenge to see what school could raise the most amounts of rice grains within the time period of one week, November 17-21. Louis’ mindset was to show the people the impact a group can make on the world.

“More than anything I wanted to show people that technology in teenagers’ hands is a force not to be trifled with in the world and that we are a viable force for good in the world,” Louis said.

Creek’s Interact Club led by head counselor Elizabeth Updegraff, made a great effort to get the school involved. The dedication you could see throughout the day made you realize no matter what the results are at the end of the week, we made a change for someone in need.

Creek junior Lisa Nhan is the co-president of the Interact  club at Creek. Her desire to make a difference in the world encouraged her to speak to the faculty and explain to them the importance of Rice Drive .

“I believe that everyday we have the choice to make this world a better place to live. For me Rice Drive was a chance to show that it does not always have to be a big act. Anyone can make a positive difference no matter the size.” Nhan said.

Louis highlighted a statistic on the issue of hunger to determine why all schools should come together to beat hunger together.

“There is enough food produced every year to feed 11 billion people. There are 7 billion people on Earth. Over one billion people are hungry. I wanted to be able to fix that,” Loius said.

Throughout the course of one week all of CCISD was able to raise 6,412,660 grains of rice with Creek coming in 3rd, Clear Horizons 2nd and Springs 1st. More than anything and any number this drive was able to shine light on the impact of technology and teenagers when they come together in hopes of making a difference.

“I’m exceedingly proud. The Clear Springs faculty, administration and students really came together to do a great thing- all of CCISD did really. This project and the rice it earned is a result of a great mass of people deciding all at once to make the world better than when they woke up that morning,” Louis said.