My journey with Rotary actually began before I was born.
I’m the fourth generation of my family to be connected with the Rotary Club of Nerang, Queensland, Australia. My great-grandfather was charter president, my grandfather was a charter member and past president, and my mum – the first woman invited to join the club in 2000 – became the club’s first female president in 2007.
By Mary Shackleton, Empowering Girls Initiative Ambassador for Zone 32 (Bermuda; Northeastern USA) and Nikita Williams, Empowering Girls Initiative team member for Zone 28 (Canada; Michigan, Washington, and Alaska, USA)
Teenage girls all over the world struggle with self-confidence. Recently, a team of Rotary members and Toastmasters in our Rotary zones set out to help girls build their leadership skills. Both Rotary and Toastmasters International are committed to helping girls embrace their full potential.
We decided to use Toastmasters’ time-tested Youth Leadership Program (YLP) to benefit younger members of the Rotary community. Our effort, which we call the Empowering Girls YLP program, gives girls a space to discover and amplify their voices and ideas over eight weeks. The program’s unique, workshop-style design lets the girls develop speaking and leadership skills in a safe space. They learn about topics like Public Speaking; Using Body Language & Gestures; Active Listening; Giving Feedback; and Impromptu Speaking.
By Kennedy K. Brooks, a participant in Rotary Youth Leadership Awards Academy in Missouri, USA. Photos by Monika Lozinska/Rotary International
Last July, I attended a Rotary Youth Leadership Awards (RYLA) Academy in Missouri, USA, that changed my life. I found myself in the right place at the right time. In the span of less than four days, I made unbelievable friendships, met mentors who were willing to give me wise counsel, and learned skills that I can use to explore a future of endless opportunities.
Editor’s Note: In 2010, the Fargo-Moorhead Rotary Foundation, which is supported by five Rotary clubs in the Fargo, North Dakota, and Moorhead, Minnesota, USA, area, raised 100 percent of the funds needed to build a Miracle Field in Moorhead. Keith Brokke shares how they were able to make an impact with their project.
By Keith Brokke, past governor of District 5580 (Minnesota, North Dakota, USA) and a member of the Rotary Club of Fargo-Moorhead AM
In the spring of 2010, a Rotary member came to us with the idea to build a Miracle Field, a special field with a rubberized, barrier-free turf that allows children with disabilities to play baseball safely. We had previously built a universal playground five years before in Fargo to commemorate the 100-year anniversary of Rotary. We felt a Miracle Field was a good fit for our Fargo-Moorhead Rotary Foundation.
By Tetteh Kojo Boampong Adesa, charter president, Rotaract Club of Accra-Airport
I would never have thought I would get so much enjoyment out of a concert and be so exhilarated to be part of leading the charge for global change. Before the Global Citizen Live concert in Accra, Ghana, 24 September, Rotary International President Jennifer Jones, who was in our country visiting Rotary clubs and projects, encouraged all Rotaract members to be a part of the buildup to this big event by creating excitement. Our charge was to step on the world stage and join with artists and leaders around the world in creating awareness for the need to protect our planet and end extreme poverty.