Humans of Cal Rotaract Fall 2019

Interns make up a large part of Cal Rotaract’s internal functions. They have worked countless hours to bring you promotional and marketing materials for club events and help increase efficiency of club operations. Whether it be the photos you get tagged in, the banners on Facebook, planning the behind the scenes of Benefit Show, or even parts of the newsletter, interns offer so much to our club, and we want to recognize them as part of this special edition of Humans of Cal Rotaract. These are some of their experiences.


Humans of Cal Rotaract

Ameek Singh | Fremont, CA
Junior | Data Science

What is your favorite memory of Cal Rotaract?
“Definitely the Berkeley Project! I still remember that I had to flatten the sand down the ramp and also break the sandbag! I also enjoyed the Egg Drop Competition with my family because I can spend a lot more time with people!”

How has Rotaract impacted your time at Cal?
“It really helped me to give back to the community and meet a lot of incredible people, especially at the general meetings! It is also great to meet new speakers too! It was also great to see an event where Rotaract and the Food Pantry collaborated, so it’s amazing to see the two clubs that I’m involved together!”

What is one thing you’re proud you haven’t done?
“I never taught my dog to eat off the floor which is good because when I drop any raisins (which is poisonous to them), they will not eat them!”

Ethan Lam | San Bruno, CA
Senior | Molecular Cell Biology

What skills have you gained through Cal Rotaract?

Hands-on teamwork – most of my classes aren’t like, you know, go-out-and-do-stuff for the community, and Rotaract gave me the opportunity to do that!

Why do you like community service?

I started through interact, and back then it was high school so I had to do community service to look good for college. But I guess now it’s more of a selfless drive, I’m actually looking to help. There’s no community service requirements here so I’m doing this because I want to.

What are your favorite service events from Cal Rotaract?

I joined International and Local committees. I liked it and it let me know what was happening and the impact of our events. I liked the Prisoners’ Literature Project and the VIDA project.

If you could be any animal, what would you be and why?

I would be an eagle, I have a fear of heights but I think flying would be really cool. I would love to be able to fly.

What’s your favorite tv show?

What I’m most invested in is Game of Thrones. I watch a lot of different shows, but that’s the one I’m most invested in.

Naomi Pearl | San Diego, CA
Freshman | Global Studies

Tell me a little bit about yourself and why you decided to join Rotaract?

“I was in a couple different community service orgs in high school and I wanted to continue doing that in college so that’s why I’m here.”

What do you like about community service? What draws you to it? 

“I like helping people. It’s also cool to do community service with a great group of people, like it just feels so good. And I was actually in one [service] group in high school and the group of people wasn’t that great. I liked the community service but not the people so I was looking for a group in college where everyone wanted to be there and were just great people in general plus we would do community service together and that seems like what Rotaract is.”

 Can you tell me about what your major is?

“Yeah so I’m intended Global Studies, which is basically an International Relations major at Berkeley. I’m excited to do it  because I want to learn more about how the world works. There are different paths that you can take within the major so I think I’m going to do Global Societies and Cultures, which would be great because I get to learn a lot about that stuff and then hopefully I can work for some international organization or non-profit and travel the world, meet new people, experience new things, it would be great.”

What committee are you a part of? 

“I’m a part of International Committee. I like it a lot and the mental health focus is really awesome, I’m so down for that. It should be fun, I’m excited to see where that goes.” 

How do you like the city Berkeley?

“I love it. Coming from SoCal I hate the heat so the cooler weather up here totally fits me. I like the location. I like the rain. I like that there’s actually water up here.”

What’s your favorite thing to do in Berkeley so far?

“I enjoy getting to know the area. I think tomorrow I’m going to San Francisco with some friends so I’ll get to see the big city.”

Mark Maffeo |Clovis 
Freshman |Intended Applied Mathematics

Why did you join Rotaract? 

“I joined Rotaract because I did a community service club in highschool for three years that worked with Lion International called Leo Club. So Lion International was basically like this big community service organization and I ended up being an officer in that club and eventually the president in my last two years of high school. I really enjoyed the service projects that we did and I really enjoyed being a part of the community in general whether it was volunteering at the food bank, cleaning up the San Joaquin River, or the many community fundraisers we did. So just enjoying that experience so much was why I decided to join the first community service club I came across which was Rotaract.” 

What is your favorite memory of Rotaract?

“My favorite memory of Rotaract so far would be the intro to Family Night because I got to meet and talk to all the family members in the club. I also got to know all the current officers we have in a more social environment than compared to say the general meetings. It was basically a really nice time where we just played games with each other and bonded through that.

What skills have you gained from Rotaract?

“I learned how to dedicate my time to a project. It showed me a lot more about responsibility and commitment because it’s different from high school work. I was involved in so many different small time projects but with the committees like Interact committee, it’s one big project which was definitely a different perspective than I’m used to. So I learned time management which I used that to get my assignments done, teamwork to help my group out, and overall dedication because I am passionate about what I do, especially for service. Whatever I do, I’ll just stay in it and try my best.” 

If you could give your past self a piece of advice, what would it be?

“Get involved earlier in high school because I didn’t really do anything my freshman year and it was really a waste until sophomore year until I became involved. I would just say to myself during that period to just not be afraid to join new things, especially earlier in life because you’ll never know what you’re going to be passionate about. Like I didn’t know I was going to be passionate about community service until way down the line. The same goes for any other interest that I got through high school. So yeah, just don’t be afraid to try new things.” 

What character trait makes you instantly attracted to or respect someone?

“I appreciate people who are honest to others even though it means hurting their feelings sometimes. I just appreciate people who are straightforward and will tell it how it is regardless of how their opinions will affect somebody. I think that is definitely what makes me respect somebody more.” 

Alumni of Cal Rotaract:

  • Steven Ryoo
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