The most important thing in the world

Jessica Compton enjoys the view on Mount Sunday, located in the middle of the South Island in Kakatere Conservation Park.

By Jessica Compton, Rotary Global Grant Scholar to New Zealand

As a child, I dreamed of teaching. But it took until my junior year of college to return to that dream. My undergraduate coursework had prepared me for the content, if not the pedagogical strategies, to effectively engage and teach adolescents English – reading, listening and viewing; writing, speaking, and presenting. Continue reading

The benefits of dual membership in Rotaract, Rotary

Delivering school supplies in Kashmir, Pakistan.

By Muhammad Talha Mushtaq, a member of the Rotaract Club of Jhang Saddar and the Rotary Club of Jhang Metropolitan

When I joined Interact back in 2009, I had no idea the path it would set me on or that it would change my life forever.

I enjoyed many successful service projects with my fellow members of Interact, as we assisted victims of the great flood of 2010. One-fifth of Pakistan’s total land area and 20 million people were directly affected by floods. We were able to collect a sizable sum of money and donations in kind during three days of scorching July heat. It was then that I understand the meaning of this quote by Oprah Winfrey: Continue reading

Learn to lead through Interact

Editor’s note: This is the last in a series of blog posts from Youth Leadership All-Stars, participants in Rotary’s programs for young leaders, in celebration of Youth Service Month. 

By Riley Benton, a member of the Interact Club of Coffee County Central High School, Manchester, Tennessee, USA

I had already participated in different service projects when I joined Interact in my freshman year of high school. I have been a member all four years of high school, and it has shaped me into a servant leader. Continue reading

Trip to World War I sites provokes thoughts of war, peace

Rotary Peace Fellows from the University of Bradford visit World War I sites in France and Belgium.

By Holly White, Class XV, Rotary Peace Center at the University of Bradford, England

Earlier this month, I took part in a tight, four-day trip to World War I battlefields and commemorative sites in France and Belgium with other Rotary Peace Fellows at the University of Bradford (including one Fellow’s sweet, energetic daughter!), host coordinators, and a few others connected to Rotary.

From the perspective of a Peace Fellow, it was interesting and, at times uncomfortable learning about the “Great War,” and how war is interpreted, commemorated, and, at times, glorified. Continue reading

Make someone smile, and see how it changes you

Members of the Rotaract Club of Trenque Lauquen donate toys during a community breakfast attended by 100 children.

Editor’s note: This is part of a series of blog posts from Youth Leadership All-Stars, participants in Rotary’s programs for young leaders, in celebration of Youth Service Month. 

By Nicolas Silva, member of the Rotaract Club of Trenque Lauquen, Argentina

Four years ago, our club undertook a project called “Todo Sirve,” which literally means “’everything serves.” We collected donations in our city, including food, drinking water, clothes, children’s toys, bikes, and beds for an aboriginal low-income community, the Qom village, located in Formosa, a northern province of Argentina.

I will never forget hearing the word “gnashek” (Qom for ‘thanks’) from a woman who I was giving a box of donations to.
Continue reading

Deeply wounded world needs Rotary Peace Centers

Maire-Paule Attema, right, and her husband, left, with host Rotarians in Brisbane, Australia.

By Marie-Paule Attema, a Rotary Peace Fellow at the University of Queensland, Brisbane, Australia

After months of anticipation, I finally arrived in Brisbane, Australia, where I will be for the next 18 months while I pursue the Masters of Peace and Conflict Studies at the University of Queensland Rotary Peace Center.

I quickly felt at home after being picked up by our “Australian parents,” who have been extremely helpful in our transition.  I have enjoyed the pros and cons of Australian living as I have quickly adapted to 30 Continue reading

Why the good you do will do good to you

Ambanpola, second from left, packing 10,500 food packets for Haiti with members of Rotaract.

Editor’s note: This is part of a series of blog posts from Youth Leadership All-Stars, participants in Rotary’s programs for young leaders, in celebration of Youth Service Month. 

By Nipuna Ambanpola, a member of the Rotaract Club of Armstrong State University and former member of Interact

Volunteering has been a very satisfying component of my life. When I volunteer, it’s always about contributing my time and skills to enhance the quality of life of others in my community.

I joined the Interact Club of Royal College, the second oldest club and the oldest continuously functioning club in Sri Lanka in 2009. Continue reading

How I gained friends through Rotary’s programs for young leaders

The Rotaract Club of Dhaka Orchids distributes school supplies.

Editor’s note: This is part of a series of blog posts from Youth Leadership All-Stars, participants in Rotary’s programs for young leaders, in celebration of Youth Service Month.

By Md. Saddam Hossain Roni, Rotaract Club of Dhaka Orchids, Bangladesh

Before joining an Interact club in 2010, I had a difficult time dealing with people I didn’t know. That’s probably why I didn’t have a lot of friends in school. But as a member of Interact, I learned a lot about fellowship. Continue reading

Science camp changed my life

Trekking in remote Western Australia as a leadership development opportunity.

Editor’s note: This is part of a series of blog posts from Youth Leadership All-Stars, participants in Rotary’s programs for young leaders, in celebration of Youth Service Month.

By Rebecca Weragoda, Rotaract Club of Sydney, Australia

Twelve years ago, I made a seemingly small decision to apply for a Rotary Australia supported “science camp.” Like so many of my peers in Rotaract, this decision changed the course of my life personally, professionally, and socially. Continue reading

Why host a Rotary Peace Fellow?

Masao Mizuno meets with a Rotary Peace Fellow.

By Masao Mizuno, Rotary Club of Ageo West, Japan

Hosting a Peace Fellow substantially changed my life in Rotary. Since joining Rotary, I have been running a company that imports industrial tools, mostly from Israel and Europe, so I am familiar with talking to people from other countries. Continue reading