A Day at the White House with Rotary

Honorees speak during Rotary's Women of Action event at the White House 7 October. Alyce Henson/Rotary International

Honorees speak during Rotary’s Women of Action event at the White House 7 October. Photo by Alyce Henson/Rotary International

By Adam Ross, Web Content Manager for Rotary.org

When I lost my state identification card while writing about Rotary’s Women of Action event at the White House on Tuesday, I didn’t have to panic by myself. A Rotarian was there to aid and comfort me.

I’m not surprised, but I’m thankful. Thankful we found my ID together so I could fly home to my family, and thankful to have made a new friend.

I had never been on the White House campus before, but the site was far less impressive than our Rotarians. Ten of them were honored as Rotary’s Women of Action, and they gracefully shared their stories. There are too many amazing projects to write about here, but we documented them on Rotary.org. Continue reading

What young professionals are looking for in Rotary

Rotary members who attended the Young Professional Summit 26-27 September.

Rotary members who attended the Young Professionals Summit 26-27 September.

By Chris Davidson, Rotary Club of Newport News, Virginia

I attended the first-ever Rotary Young Professionals Summit held in Chicago on 26-27 September, which gathered 30 Rotarians under the age of 40 to discuss how Rotary can better attract and engage young professionals.

The summit was a huge success and thoroughly captured the essence of what Millennials and members of Generation Y are looking for — mentorship, friendship, opportunities, and fun. One of my Rotary mentors, past RI Vice President Anne L. Matthews, who I had worked with on district membership projects, had encouraged me to apply.

Joining Rotary as a 32-year-old young professional was a life-changing event. Continue reading

Overcoming all challenges for polio eradication


By Rotary Voices staff

Salman Ahmad, founder of the popular Pakistani band Junoon, is the latest musician to lend his talents to our campaign to End Polio Now, recording this video to mobilize Pakistan’s various ethnic and religious groups in support of eradicating the crippling disease. Pakistan is one of only three countries, the other two being Nigeria and Afghanistan, where transmission of the live polio virus has never been stopped. Continue reading

Back on a bike for Miles to End Polio

Alison Randall and her boyfriend, Jerry, during at a training ride for El Tour de Tucson.

Alison Randall and her boyfriend, Jerry, during at a training ride for El Tour de Tucson.

By Alison Randall, Rotary staff

Being a part of the Miles to End Polio team has been helping rebuild my confidence in bicycling.

A few years ago, I was living in Madison, Wisconsin, riding to class one morning, when another student cyclist I was passing decided to turn left without warning. I crashed and fell off my bike, but thankfully was not seriously injured. Nevertheless, after that incident, I decided to walk to class. No more biking for me.

Time has gone by, and now many of my Continue reading

Dialogue for peace in Norway

Ema Talam address Rotary members in Oslo, Norway, during the program on dialogue as a means of promoting peace.

Ema Talam addresses Rotary members in Oslo, Norway, during the program on dialogue as a means of promoting peace.

By Ema Talam, a university student from Bosnia and Herzegovina

This summer, I was fortunate enough to be selected as one of 16 participants from the Western Balkans to participate in a program for university students and young professionals, age 20 through 30, organized by The Rotary Club of Oslo Vest, Norway, and supported by other Rotary clubs throughout Norway and the Western Balkans.

When I boarded the plane on 15 June, I did not know that this was going to be one of the most interesting summers of my life. I didn’t know much about Rotary and I knew Continue reading

10 tips to enhance your next service project

Young professionals and university students may have unique insights into a community’s needs, offer technical skills and expertise as volunteers or fundraisers, and be adept at promoting your project through social media

Young professionals and university students may have unique insights that can assist your service project.

By Ellina Kushnir, Rotary staff

Your Rotary club has decided to do a service project. You’ve met with the local community and determined the needs they identify as the most pressing. You’ve put together a project plan, and are ready to roll up your sleeves and get started. Now what?

Here are 10 practical tips from the webinar, Lifecycle of a Service Project, Part 3, which focus on acquiring the resources you need to carry out an effective and sustainable project: Continue reading

Team captain excited to be part of Miles to End Polio effort

Kristin Brown, left, and Marga Hewko, wife of Rotary General Secretary John Hewko, take a break during the North Shore Century ride.

Kristin Brown, left, and Marga Hewko, wife of Rotary General Secretary John Hewko, take a break during the North Shore Century ride.

By Kristin Brown, Rotary staff

In 1987, I returned home to Evanston, Illinois, for the summer after spending a year at the Istituto Affari Internazionali as a graduate student in Rome, Italy. Rotary International was moving into a new building in downtown Evanston and ramping up efforts to eradicate polio. I didn’t know much about polio then, but Rotary needed temporary staff and I needed a summer job.

Never would I have guessed that more than 20 years later, I’d come back to Rotary as a manager in RI Programs, that I would follow my father and grandfather in becoming a Rotarian, and that I’d be serving as captain of the 2014 RI Staff Miles to End Polio team, training for El Tour de Tucson. Continue reading

Roundup: Must-read posts of the month

By Rotary Voices staff

Here are some of our favorite blog posts from the past month, which focus on the transforming power of Rotary Youth Exchanges, the good work being done by Rotary Scholars around the world, and how to make the most of social media.

Share a link to your favorite blog post in the comments section below.

Treating your club like a start-up business

Elaine Lytle at a school in the Philippines her club is supporting through a service project.

Elaine Lytle, second from left, at a school in the Philippines her club is supporting through a service project.

By Elaine Lytle, Rotary Club of Como-Jannali, New South Wales, Australia

As a small Rotary club, we were on the road to extinction when we decided to hold a series of meetings as a whole club. We reviewed the usual list of strengths and weaknesses, action plans, and brainstorming ideas that we have done in the past with no real follow up.

But what really made a difference was when we looked in depth at the new means of communication and technologies available to us. One of our members is a financial consultant and another an accountant and we had them lead a session on approaching our club like it was a start-up business. Continue reading

Ebola puts dream to educate Liberian children on hold

Samuel Enders with students from the African Dream Academy.

Samuel Enders with students from the African Dream Academy.

By Samuel R. Enders, Rotary Club of Yonkers-East Yonkers, New York, USA

Having grown up in poverty in Liberia, West Africa, I know firsthand both the dire need for better educational opportunities in that country and the empowerment that a quality education provides. I experienced the death of my father when I was just two months old and struggled to survive through the country’s bloody civil war that ravaged the economy, infrastructure, and people.

In 2005, I founded African Dream Academy (ADA) to help Liberia’s youth escape the iron grip of poverty. We have provided counseling to thousands of children in two week intervals several times a year, and in 2012, opened our first fully academic school where we teach 140 children in classes from nursery through fourth grade.  Continue reading