Building Tomorrow's Leaders and Creating Friends for a Lifetime

For a fifteen year old club, we can be proud of many things, but the thing that I am most proud of is our participation in the Youth Exchange Program.

Rotary Youth Exchange links more than 160 countries and 8,000 youth each year. Started in 1929 in Europe and linking with the US in 1939, students are given the opportunity to grow as individuals while their view of the world grows a

t an even greater pace. When these young people become adults, many assume leadership roles in their communities and bring to these positions the benefits and insights from their experiences abroad. As a result, Rotary's Youth Exchange program becomes a powerful force in the promotion of world understanding and peace.

Last year, we sent a local high school student, Ashley Hall, abroad while we hosted Marta Solano Carpintero who came to us from the Canary Islands . Can you imagine what it would have been like without Marta visiting our club last year? This year, our outgoing student, Cassie Van Lier is in Spain while Isabelle (Isa) Crosset spends several months us while being away from her home in Louveigne , Belgium . Isa is a wonderful young woman who brings a spark to our meetings each week. It is truly a joy to have her share Wednesdays with us while she gets more familiar with our community. What an incredible experience for each of these young people to have. The fact that we can share some of these experiences with them is a bonus. And what a wonderful support system that Rotary provides each of them as they venture out into the world for the first time.

We can all make Isa's experience more rewarding by including her in your activities. A great example of that is Karla Jacks and family inviting Isa along to go "tubing" a couple weekends ago. The memories that were created will be shared by each of them for a lifetime.