Rotary Youth Exchange returns: the making of a video

Rotary Youth Exchange student
A video about Rotary Youth Exchange captures one student’s story and the many people who go into making an exchange successful.

By Logan Johnson, Youth Exchange and Youth Protection Promotions and Engagement Specialist at Rotary International

A few years ago, volunteers of the Rotary Youth Exchange program were sending thousands of students around the globe each year to learn new languages, discover new cultures, and become global citizens. Then COVID-19 brought almost every aspect of the program to a screeching halt. Like many other aspects of Rotary, the program found new life online with virtual exchanges, which offered a safe alternative to in-person exchanges.

But many anticipated the return of in-person exchanges, and as of May 2022 in-person exchanges were planned and are happening worldwide for the first time in over two years!

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My Rotary youth exchange: Venezuela to the United States

Anniela Carracedo
Anniela Carracedo took part in a 2019-20 Rotary Youth Exchange from Venezuela to Mississippi, USA.

By Anniela Carracedo, member of the Rotary Club of Bay St. Louis, Mississippi, USA, and a Rotary Youth Exchange Alumna

When I decided to become a Rotary Youth Exchange student, I had no idea how much it would change my life and the lives of everyone around me.

In 2017, I was invited to the Interact Club of Valencia, Venezuela, following my parents, who joined the Rotary Club of Valencia. I joined the club because I wanted to make a difference in my local community. I had seen Venezuela go from being one of the healthiest countries in Latin America to experiencing one of the worst humanitarian and economic crises in the modern world.

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Building professional skills across borders

By Mona Mousa, past president of Rotaract Stockholm and its international representative

Mona Mousa
Mona Mousa

I don’t have a professional background in social media management, but I have managed several social media accounts such as Rotaract Stockholm and Rotaract Oceania. In advance of the Global Citizen Live event in Paris in September, the rest of my team decided I should handle the Rotary Instagram page, as they have followed me for a long time.

It was an exciting and a scary opportunity because there are thousands of followers, but I went in with an open mind.

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Challenging the status quo in Rotary

Mohan Kumar
Mohan Kumar

By K V Mohan Kumar, charter president, Rotary Club of Bangalore Prime, India

Rotary is constantly in the process of change. Change is essential to stay relevant, as Rotary’s founder Paul Harris noted with his famous quote:

“This is a changing world, we must be prepared to change with it. The story of Rotary will have to be written again and again.”

Paul Harris, This Rotarian Age, Circa 1935

Many things drive that change in Rotary:

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Creating relationships beyond the club experience

The social media team
The social media team from Rotary at Global Citizen Live in Paris. From left Pauline Amiel, Tamara Gojkovic, Hanh Minh, and Mona Mousa.

By Tamara Gojkovic, past president and treasurer of the Rotaract Club of Banja Luka, Bosnia and Herzegovina

Before I joined Rotary, I had only heard of it by name. I didn’t know anything more. Then one of the assistants at my university asked if I’d want to join their club. He noticed how active I was at university and with several nongovernmental organizations, and he thought Rotaract would be a great fit for me. I’m really grateful he did, because that created a whole new part of my life. That was almost four years ago now.

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