Bethany Lerch, right, takes notes while speaking to a female attendee during a national mine awareness conference in Kabul.
By Bethany Lerch, former Rotary Ambassadorial Scholar, 2010-2011
I knew little about Rotary eight years ago when my former high school counselor encouraged me to apply for an Ambassadorial Scholarship. He was retired, but still active in Rotary, and knew a master’s was my next step. At the time, I had just graduated from the University of Wisconsin Oshkosh and knew I needed to go to graduate school. But where and how? Continue reading
Jasmine Segall, right, and her best friend in Monterrey, who entertains children as a clown.
By Jasmine Segall, former Rotary global grant scholar
I have heard a variety of interesting stories about why the rural Costa Rican town I live in as a Peace Corps volunteer is called Monterrey. My favorite is the literal translation: “King of the Grass,” explained by a wizened elderly gentleman as the place his family settled to farm cattle because of its nutritious vegetation. On a good day, I can get a clear view of the Arenal Volcano and see the lush farmland that stretches endlessly below. The view is breathtaking. It truly is a green kingdom. Continue reading
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
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
By Dave Revsine, former Rotary Scholar and studio host for the Big Ten Network, adapted from a presentation to the Rotary Club of Deerfield, Illinois, USA
A year in Ireland as a Rotary Scholar changed my life. It is something I still think about every day. It altered my life trajectory, and allowed me to see the world in a different way.
I was entering my senior year at Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois, and trying to figure out what to do with my life, when a good friend of my dad’s, a professor at Rice University, set up a lunch to talk about my career aspirations. As a history major, I had good grades, was starting an LSAT review course, and figured I’d probably end up going to law school. But I wasn’t excited about it. Continue reading
Ann Syrett, middle, with Past District Governor Ron Lucas, who served as her counselor during her scholarship year, and David Riley, president of the Rotary Club of Newcastle-under-Lyme
By Ann Syrett, former Ambassadorial Scholar and member of the Rotary Club Sunrise of Road Town, British Virgin Islands
In April, I paid an emotional visit to the Rotary Club of Newcastle-under-Lyme that had hosted my Ambassadorial Scholarship more than 40 years ago while I attended Keele University in North Staffordshire, England.
As I shared my experiences with them, I reflected upon how much the experience had changed my life. I grew up in Astoria, Oregon, and the cultural differences between small town USA and Keele University were immense. Continue reading
Keyla receives her diploma through the program.
By Richard Hartwig, Rotary Club of Kingsville, Texas, USA
One day in 1964, during my junior year at Southern Illinois University, Carbondale, Illinois, USA, I was approached by Professor Frank Klingberg, who asked if I would like to be nominated for a Rotary Ambassadorial Scholarship (the predecessor of today’s global grant scholarships.) Two years later, I was off to Argentina, arriving just after a military coup, which was excellent training for a budding political scientist.
I owe much of my career as a political science professor to Rotary. The last few years, I have had a chance to give back as international services director for our Rotary Club. One of our two international projects is a scholarship program for poor students in Mexico. Continue reading
The three Rotary alumni and DSIL Global participants at the Zero Baht Shop, a domestic migrant community that has developed a recycling program that funds insurance and social support programs for the community.
By Courtney Lawrence, Rotary Ambassadorial Scholar 2009-10; Katherine Grennier, Rotary Peace Fellow 2016; and Hermes Huang, Rotary Scholar, 2014-15
From the coastline of Costa Rica, to the sidewalks of Bangkok, to the jungles of Indonesia, we have been supported as individuals by The Rotary Foundation to make this world a better place; one where service comes before self. As a team of Rotary alumni, we have been able to pull together in pursuit of empowering grassroots social innovators around the world. Continue reading
By Christina Welch, Rotary Scholar to UNESCO-IHE Institute for Water Education
As I pedaled my newly acquired bicycle through the streets of Delft, in the Netherlands, I realized I was smiling to myself. Navigating through the cobblestone streets and over the canals felt nothing like home, yet I was so grateful to be here.
This bicycle is on loan from Paul Gompen, a fellow Rotary member. I didn’t realize being a beneficiary of the global grant meant so much more than simply a scholarship. It became immediately clear upon my arrival that I am Continue reading
Rotary and UNESCO-IHE Institute for Water Education scholarship recipients at the April graduation ceremony. From left: Gonzalo Duro (Argentina), Godfrey Baguma (Uganda), Bernice Asamoah (Ghana), Kaycee Okoli (Nigeria), and Temesgen Adamu (Ethiopia).
By Bernice Asamoah
When I first arrived in the Netherlands, I marveled at how clean everything was and how neatly water was channeled through town. It was very different from my homeland of Ghana, and I was struck by the diversity of Delft’s population.
I had arrived in the Netherlands on a scholarship from The Rotary Foundation to study sanitary engineering at the UNESCO-IHE Institute for Water Education. The opportunity came unexpectedly, but has turned out to be a career defining moment. I am so grateful to the Rotary Clubs of Kumasi East and Accra who supported my efforts to meet all the requirements for the scholarship. Continue reading