A larger than life youth exchange experience

Youth Exchange Students on European Tour

Youth Exchange Students take part in a year-end European Tour.

By Joel Dzuba, Rotary Exchange Student from Ontario, Canada, to Lower Saxony, Germany

It would be impossible to pick a favourite memory from my exchange in Germany due to the sheer number of opportunities I had and dreams I lived. From sailing in the Baltic Sea, to walking in the North Sea, to swimming in the Mediterranean, there are simply too many experiences to pick a favourite. Continue reading

Rotary Youth Exchange gave me hope for peace

Kate Roff

Kate Roff

By Kate Roff, a former Rotary Youth Exchange student

Being lost in the middle of the bustling, hazy, city of Bangkok, Thailand, is not ideal for a 17-year-old Australian girl. But, it was a moment that changed my life.

I was on Rotary Youth Exchange and despite excellent instructions from my caring host-family; I had no idea how the intricate bus system worked, and hadn’t mastered the language yet to ask. After boarding the wrong bus for the third time, Continue reading

Rotary means family

Emily Koerner with her father (left) and the past president of the club (right).

Emily Koerner with her father (left) and Peter Singagliese, past president of the Central Ocean Rotary club (right).

By Emily Koerner, a former Interactor, native of Toms River, New Jersey, and student at the University of Scranton in Pennsylvania, USA

I often wonder what other people think about when they hear the word “Rotarian.”

Since I was about 10 years old, I attended many service events with my dad (a member and past president of the Central Ocean Rotary Club in Toms River, New Jersey). The members welcomed me with open arms, laughs, and, of course, a ton of work to be done. Continue reading

Incoming district governors look forward to making a difference

170116_themeBy Ryan Hyland, Rotary editorial staff

RI President-elect Ian H.S. Riseley urged incoming district leaders to seek gender and age parity and protect the environment in announcing the 2017-18 presidential theme Rotary: Making a Difference. “We know that we can do more together than we could ever do alone. I ask you to keep that spirit of teamwork and cooperation always in your minds and to take it back with you to your districts.”

We caught up with incoming district governors after the theme was announced to get their thoughts, and see how they planned to make a difference in their leadership year. Continue reading

The best of both worlds: Rotary and Rotaract

Fernando Pinto Nercelles

Fernando Pinto Nercelles

By Fernando Pinto Nercelles

When I learned about the changes approved by the 2016 Council on Legislation that allowed Rotaractors to join a Rotary club while maintaining their Rotaract membership, I immediately saw an opportunity and knew that I had to take it. Why?

It’s quite simple, I feel dual membership is one of the most effective ways devised to achieve the best of both worlds. Continue reading

Our top 5 stories of 2016

The Rotary Club of Alanya International, Turkey, with confetti and cake.

The Rotary Club of Alanya International, Turkey, celebrates with confetti and cake.

By Rotary Voices staff

As the year draws to a close, we recap our top five stories of the year (based on number of views): Continue reading

When I give to Rotary, I get so much more back

161027_witkowski1

Stephanie Witkowski, middle in blue shirt, during her Rotary Youth Exchange in Slovakia. 

By Stephanie Witkowski, Rotary Club of Honolulu Pau Hana

At 28 years old, I decided to become a Rotarian, because Rotary changed my life.

I grew up in a small town in Oregon, USA, and was a young leader in my school. When I was 15 years old, I applied to attend a Rotary Youth Leadership Awards event in Rotary’s District 5110 to learn more about myself and what leadership meant to me. During that amazing week-long experience, I learned not only about how to be a better leader for my school and community, but about Rotary itself.  Continue reading

Rotary scholarship worth the ‘calculated risk’

Avenida del Libertador, Buenos Aires

Avenida del Libertador, Buenos Aires

By Christine Cloonan, former Rotary Scholar

I first heard about the Rotary Foundation Ambassadorial Scholarship during a coffee meeting with a fellow member of a women’s business network now known as Ellevate Network. My life path prior to that had been clear, but not always direct.

My goal was to study to get the best education I could with the ultimate purpose of getting a “good job.” But to the bafflement of my older relatives, landing on that good job took a bit of exploring. My first job was with a law firm, which convinced me not to go to law school. Accepting a one year teaching fellowship, I began a five year teaching career and earned a Master of Spanish at Middlebury College. I then developed an “itch” to go abroad to perfect my language skills and explore new places. Continue reading

3 ingredients that make a Rotarian remarkable

Our neighboring club, Sunyani East, presented exercise books and other supplies to students at Nwawasua school.

Our neighboring club, Sunyani East, presented exercise books and other supplies to students at Nwawasua school in September. Remarkable Rotarians donate time to projects such as this.

Dominic KornuBy Dominic Kornu, Rotary Club of Sunyani Central, Ghana

I first visited the Sunyani Central Rotary club in August of last year as a guest, and was instantly welcomed and integrated into club activities. I knew from the start my relationship with the club was meant to be.

I was immediately encouraged to be part of visits to project sites. My professional skills in information and communication technology were tapped to help design fliers, revamp the club’s website, and teach members about Internet security. It’s been an exciting and challenging year as I grow as a Rotarian. Through it, I’ve come to understand and appreciate three main ingredients that make a Rotarian remarkable: Continue reading

Rotary scholar pursues his dream to visit every U.S. national park

Meyer at the Grand Canyon

Mikah Meyer at Theodore Roosevelt National Park. Rotary has helped Meyer reach for his dreams, including visiting all 400 plus U.S. National Park sites in a single tour.

By Mikah Meyer, former Rotary Scholar

Growing up as a pastor’s kid in Nebraska, I had a strong desire to get out and see the world. But I would never have had the opportunity to pursue my dreams if it had not been for Rotary.

I was awarded a Rotary scholarship during my junior year at the University of Memphis, while earning a degree in voice performance. I heard about the opportunity through a teacher who had been a Rotary Scholar herself, and a close friend who had been a Rotary Youth Exchange Student. Continue reading