Posted by Heather Dyer on Nov 06, 2013
Rotary Youth Exchange is off to a great start. We have wonderful inbound students and we are gearing up to interview next year’s outbound students. So far, our current outbound students seem to be doing just fine. They are adapting pretty well to their new environment.

I want to mention that if your club needs volunteers, it is easy for us to communicate to our rebound students (past outbound students) as well as our inbound students to see if they can help. Students love to help with service projects. Please let me, David Cush or Bill Pritchard know if you have projects when you need help. You may reach us at:
Judy Levine –
David Cush –
Bill Pritchard -

On another note, I want to share with you a poem that a former outbound student wrote. It is not just about youth exchange students. It is about all of us sharing in a wonderful program that affects so many people, perhaps you included. She presented it at our annual conference at Calvin College in Grand Rapids, Michigan in July. I hope it speaks to you and gives you a feel of what youth exchange is all about.

Calvin Conference July 11th-14th, 2013
Variety Show, Claudia Toro District 6290, Was a 07-08 OB to Brazil, Now a Rotex for 6290

Five years ago, I was 17.
Five years ago, I was sitting in those same exact seats.
Five years ago, is when I should have started saying “thank you” to all of the people who made it possible to be sitting in those seats.
There could have been 100 “thank you’s”, but I settled on seven.
This is “Thoughts of a Youth Exchange Student”

I have memories which hang from me,
I provide strength in unexpected moments,
I have pins that mean family and friends,
I have been stuffed, packed, scanned, and worn through airports both foreign and domestic,
I am a Rotary Blazer.
I am a leader,
I signed you up for this talent show,
I am called wagon-master and grandpa,
I have two adopted grandchildren in the program,
I am a District Chair.

I coordinate your safety,
I love golf carts and registration tables,
I can tell you to “get” somewhere, how to get there, and that yes; you’re already late for the session,
I trusted my child to this program,
I am the Chief Sergeant at Arms.
I volunteer my time,
I dream of paperwork and trips,
I become inspired at every conference because of you,
I am a YEO.
I am a Coordinator.
I am a Rotarian.
I am the most well versed on Inbound paperwork,
I know everything about you before you even land,
I convinced this student, my granddaughter, to fill out an application,
I am loved by my granddaughter,
I am a committee member, and I am Grandpa.

I love 6290,
I speak many languages but my first is Fun,
I am prepared for the unexpected by expecting it,
I say “see you soon” and never “goodbye”,
I am a Central States Rotary Youth Exchange Student.
I believe in youth and service above self,
I want to end polio one purple pinkie at a time,
I am a wheel that keeps turning,
I am Rotary, and so are you.

Thank You.