Preparing future leaders to pursue peace

Elsa Garcia Soto at the United Nations in New York.

Elsa Soto Garcia at the United Nations in New York.

By Elsa Soto Garcia, Rotaract Club of Mexicali Industrial, Mexico 

Walking through the doors of the United Nations headquarters building in New York was an awesome experience. Sitting in a room full of students from 30 different nationalities, sharing ideas on how to promote the model UN programs in our countries, was even more amazing.

I have been taking part in model UN programs for many years. Continue reading

Lessons I learned in teamwork

130912_enricoBy Enrico Giuseppe Ferro, past president of the Yale University Rotaract Club, New Haven, USA, winner of the 2013 “Rotaract Outstanding Project Award for the USA, Canada and Caribbean Districts” 

In 2009, I took part in a Rotary Youth Exchange to Canandaigua, New York, USA, which taught me many things about teamwork.

I worked side by side with Rotarians and other exchange students to develop strategies to enhance our service efforts. We held themed-cuisine nights where we cooked and sold food native to our home countries to raise money for projects and shared ideas on how to promote each other’s good works. I realized how through Rotary I could work with people from many different perspectives to tackle urgent problems in our communities.

Continue reading

What do you tell your children about Rotary?

Simone and Ariana Collins.

Simone and Ariana Collins.

By Simone Collins, past president of the Rotary Club of Freshwater Bay, Western Australia, Australia

I have never forgotten a conversation I had with a Rotarian who was one of our strongest supporters, back when I was still a Rotaractor. Her own children had never joined Rotary or Rotaract, because they didn’t want to belong to something “boring” like their parents did! I was gobsmacked.

What precisely are we as Rotarians telling our children about Rotary? What do they see? Do they just see you going to “boring” meetings? Or do they see what inspires you about Rotary? Continue reading

The day we became a real Rotary club

The start of the Caulfield Racecourse Run. Photo courtesy of Glen Eira Rotary Club

The start of the Caulfield Racecourse Run. Photo courtesy of Glen Eira Rotary Club

By Adrian Nelson, past president of the Rotary Club of Glen Eira, Australia

Last year, the wife of our district governor told me during their visit to our club that we had the best chips out of the whole district. She meant it as a compliment!

I’ve been a member of the Rotary Club of Glen Eira for ten years. In the past year, we have celebrated our 25th anniversary with video messages from past youth exchange students and scholars and a look back at how we sent medical equipment to a needy hospital in rural Peru and set up computers for poor students in Brazil. A contingent from our friendship club, the Rotary Club of Ogaki West, Japan, even came over to my home for an Aussie barbecue, meeting my sons, age 5 and 7. We keep busy!  Continue reading

Using Facebook to promote Rotary

130828_wagner1By Erin Wagner, a member of the Rotary Club of Minneapolis South, Minnesota, USA

I am a product of Rotary’s youth programs, which taught me some amazing lessons. For example:

A farm girl from Idaho, my youth exchange to France (2001-02) and the associated culture shock taught me to be aware of and question my assumptions, and to recognize that people are people all over the world. Continue reading

The happier we are, the better we serve

Mary Berge on a service project in the Dominican Republic. "Rotary service makes me happy," Berge says.

Mary Berge on a service project in the Dominican Republic. “Rotary service makes me happy,” she says.

By Mary Berge, a Rotary Coordinator and member of the Rotary Club of Johnstown, Pennsylvania, USA

Did you know that people are more interested in the “why” than the “how?”

This applies strongly to Rotary membership. It’s far less interesting how you became a Rotarian than why you became, and why you remain, a Rotarian.

I became a Rotarian because of my innate character to give. I am, by nature, altruistic and I believe in doing the right thing (even when no one is looking). In a nut shell, I feel good when I’m helping others. I remain in Rotary because I feel good when I’m helping others. Continue reading

Cultivating a powerful social media presence

By Antoinette Tuscano, Rotary editorial staff

Social media has been a powerful tool in spreading Rotary’s message. When BigMarker conducted a survey this summer of which nonprofits in the Chicago market had made the biggest impact on social media, Rotary came out on top in our use of Twitter and Facebook (231,000 Facebook likes and 204,000 Twitter followers), second in use of all social media in the Chicago area, and 20th in the United States.

I was approached by BigMarker to answer a few questions for their blog on what it took to cultivate our social media presence. Here’s a bit of what I shared. You can see the full article here. Continue reading

The beauty of friendship: a Rotary Group Study Exchange to Italy

130729_dudo_thBy Veronica Dudo, a television journalist in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA, and member of a Rotary Group Study Exchange to Italy.

Breathing crisp mountain air in the Italian Alps, feeling warm sunshine strolling along Lake Como, coasting through the canals of Venice, and taking in the majestic landscape of the Lombardy region are just some of the adventures I enjoyed as a member of the South Jersey Group Study Exchange (GSE) team from New Jersey, USA, to northern Italy. Continue reading

Interact ignites a passion for service


This gallery contains 5 photos.

Editor’s note: Each November, Rotary celebrates the chartering of the first Interact Club during World Interact Week. Interact is Rotary’s program for youth age 12-18. The following is a post written by Adam Arents, Rotary Programs staff, earlier this year. … Continue reading

Not engaging Rotary is killing clubs

Martin “Marty” Postic, Jr.

Martin “Marty” Postic, Jr.

By Martin “Marty” Postic, Jr., past governor of District 5750 (Oklahoma, USA) and a member of the Rotary Club of Oklahoma City Midtown, Oklahoma, USA

I am proud to say that I consider RI President Ron Burton a friend. One of my first Rotary Club make up meetings in 1985 was at a small club that had bad food, a bad program, REALLY bad singing and (surprise!) very few members. However, as I sat down, a man reached his hand across the table and said, “Hi! I’m Ron Burton from the Norman Rotary Club” and introduced me to a Rotarian guest he had brought. Continue reading