Rotary Youth Exchange changes lives

Dave White

Editor’s note: This is the fifth and last in a series of blog posts from the 2018 Youth Leadership All-Stars, participants in Rotary’s programs for young leaders, in celebration of Youth Service Month.

By Dave White, Rotary Club of Courtenay, British Columbia, Canada

I was inspired to become involved in the Rotary Youth Exchange program in the 1980s while I was a secondary school principal and the school hosted our first international exchange student. A young lady, an Inbound Exchange student from South Africa, spent the year at our school. She had never been taught by a non-white teacher and had some hesitations about attending his classes. The trepidations soon disappeared. She grew to know and respect the teacher as a person and thoroughly enjoyed his classes. Continue reading

Dreaming bigger dreams through Interact

Ismael Nieto reads to children during one of his Interact club’s service projects.

Nieto

Editor’s note: This is the fourth in a series of blog posts from the 2018 Youth Leadership All-Stars, participants in Rotary’s programs for young leaders, in celebration of Youth Service Month.

By Ismael Cadeno Nieto, Interact Club of Manta, Ecuador

When I was 10 years old, my parents became involved in Rotary. Since that moment, I’ve assisted in club activities as the son of a Rotarian, and at first, I didn’t like it all that much. But four years later, something changed, and it became one of my favorite hobbies. I was inspired to take action through the needs I discovered in my community. Continue reading

Rotary’s amazing capacity to bring people together

Exchange students from District 6990 get together.

By Gabriel de Jesus Abade, former Rotary Youth Exchange Student

When I was 16, like most teenagers, I was focused on my own life. I hadn’t really thought about joining a service club or dedicating myself to helping others. But that changed when a high school friend began talking to me about Rotary, and its local and global actions. I was captivated and wanted to learn more. Continue reading

SURF’s up: Who says Rotary can’t be fun?

High school students enjoy a bonfire event in 2016.

By Brett Morey, chair of Surfers Unite Rotarian Fellowship and past president of the Rotary Club of La Jolla Golden Triangle, California, USA

Have you ever thought of turning a hobby or passion into something even more beneficial through Rotary? I am a third generation Californian and grew up bodyboarding at Huntington Beach and Del Mar, before starting to surf 34 years ago. Back in May, I got this crazy idea to do something with my interest in surfing. Continue reading

What makes your Interact club great?

This week, World Interact Week, we honor the accomplishments of an estimated half a million Interact club members. And we are recognizing the positive impact young people have made through Interact for more than 55 years.

To celebrate Interact we asked clubs around the world, “What makes your Interact club great?” Here are some of the responses: Continue reading

Why you should enter the 2017 Interact Video Awards

By Andrei Precup, president of the Interact Club of Constanta, Romania

We were honored to be selected as best video in last year’s Interact Video Awards. Our goal was to open people’s eyes to the need to take care of our planet and ourselves.

We were driven to take part both because it was something different from our usual activities and because the theme was so interesting (If Interactors ruled the world). I remember being at our club’s meeting when our president announced the idea of making a video. Many people were very excited. Our club likes taking on new challenges and trying things for the first time. 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

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

My path into Rotary

Kay Fisher, bottom row far right, with her Interact Club in Clemson, South Carolina, USA.

By Kay Fisher, a member of the Rotary Club of North Mecklenburg, North Carolina, USA

Growing up in the suburbs of Atlanta, I never learned how to swim, how to play the piano, or how it would feel to go to church on Sunday mornings. The opportunities were there. The new YMCA offered swim lessons, my grandparents bought me a new piano and offered to pay for lessons, and churches were close to my house. But these were all things my dad felt only “plastic people” did. Continue reading