We are thrilled to feature our first Rotaractor, Anna Giesbrecht. Anna is one of the people working hard to form the Rotaract Club at the University of Waterloo. Anna and her team recently celebrated the successful approval of their constitution by Feds, making the UWaterloo Rotaract Club an official club on campus. Congratulations!
Why did you join Rotaract? I joined Rotaract because my friend had been very involved with Rotary throughout his life and was very passionate about the experiences he had the opportunity to par-take in. I began learning more about what Rotary and Rotaract were, about how they strive to serve others in their local communities and around them. This is something that resonates with me so I decided to join for more opportunity to serve others.
Can you provide me with your “Rotaract path,” highlighting experiences and accomplishments? My time in Rotaract hasn’t been very long. My friend Timothy Souza had started looking for people who would be interested in joining a University of Waterloo Rotaract club last December, and once I learned more about what Rotaract was I decided to join. Since then a team of us have been working on getting UWaterloo Rotaract started; electing a Board, Chairs, getting people out to meetings. During this time I became the secretary, which has been an interesting experience as I’ve never done it before, and we were able to get our constitution approved by Feds, thus becoming an official club on campus! Since the last few months have just been setting the foundation for the group we’re taking the summer to plan meetings and events for the fall term.
Tell me about your values and how Rotaract/Rotary aligns with these? One of my strongest values is to treat others with the same respect as you wish to be given. I also believe that we all have a duty to look out for one another, to help each other prosper and heal. I found that this aligns with what Rotary stands for as they openly promote ‘service above self’. This is part of what really drew me to Rotary, as their goal is to help others and help create strong community bonds.
What are your future Rotaract/Rotary goals, both short‐term and long‐term? Currently, to continue to help UWaterloo Rotaract grow, get more members, do more events, raise money and awareness – make a difference. In the short term we need to find people to sit on the Board and be Chairs for the Committees for once we leave. In the long term, I personally hope we can do an international trip with the group – whether it be to a Rotary conference or to learn more about how other people live and what we can do to support them.
If you could tell another woman one thing about Rotaract/Rotary membership, what would it be? It’s a great place where your voice can be heard, where you can take leadership and affect change – both within the organization and around it.
Do you think Rotaract/Rotary membership adds positive value for woman? If so, how (e.g. networking, mentorship, community involvement, leadership, etc.) Though I haven’t been involved for very long I can definitely say joining can add positive value for a woman. It gives the opportunity to meet women from all walks of life; different career paths, different ages and backgrounds. To form connections and relationships with these people offers so much more opportunity for learning. I think having women form mentoring relationships with each other would be very beneficial as you can learn about life through one another’s experiences. As well, to encourage each other to take leadership positions within Rotary is essential for Rotary’s growth and development over future years.
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