Stories of Youth Exchange from All Around the World


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Presentation given by Alan Wylie at the 2013 Youth Exchange Officers Preconvention Meeting in Lisbon, Portugal.

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Stories of Youth Exchange from All Around the World

  1. 1. Impacts of Rotary Youth Exchange Alan Wylie
  2. 2. Introduction • Howdy ! “Right proud to be here” • Happy today to share impact of RYE – RI presidents – Parents – Host Parents – Rotary Districts – Inbound Exchange Students – Outbound Exchange Students • Reminders why we love this program
  3. 3. Past RI President Ray Klingensmith • 200 SCRYE Rotary exchange students conducted opening ceremony at New Orleans – Flag Ceremony – Singing songs: • We are Calling Out Across World, Come Join Us • Thank you for this Chance • We Are the World, We Are the Children • Happy Trails to You • “Long” standing ovation from 25,000 Rotarians, many with tears in their eyes • See video at RYE booth in House of Friendship
  4. 4. Opening Ceremony at 2011 Rotary International Convention
  5. 5. Past RI President Carl Wilhelm Stanhammer • Not only a past RI president, but also a former Rotary Youth Exchange Officer • Gave presentation at RYE conference prior to RI convention • Gave an often quoted statement – “If every high school student was RYE student, we would have no more wars”
  6. 6. Reflections of a Host Family • Bernie and Patricia Satterwhite hosted Marie Kornek from Germany • Bernie was tremendously impacted by students saying thank you at host family appreciation banquet • He was motivated to write a beautiful letter which I often share
  7. 7. Host Father’s Thoughts • Special bond between Marie, Patricia, and Bernie • Patricia and Bernie’s joy from Marie’s experiences – Carrying German flag at district banquet attended by RI President – Having picture taken with RI President – Successes on soccer field • Parents’ pride – in Marie’s dedication to school work – Hearing Marie’s gratitude and love expressed at host family appreciation banquet • Final Comment (Reason for Letter): – Host families have special opportunity to shape young people’s lives and are richly rewarded by the experience
  8. 8. Rotary District in Australia • Thankfully tragedy seldom happens, but Kristal Quinn – while in Australia – went into cardiac arrest 3 times • Was in intensive care in Australia for 3 months • Rolf from Ecuador – “We’ll keep a candle lit in the window for her” • Was lovingly cared for by Rotarians, especially by host mother and wife of Rotary counselor • Eventually sent back to Houston and recovered after months in hospital
  9. 9. Australia, Continued • Later our district sent Group Study Exchange team to Australian district • Australia allowed our district to surprise Australian host mother and wife of counselor with Paul Harris Fellow awards at district conference • Second surprise -- Krystal came out and presented the awards • Not a dry eye in the house
  10. 10. Esteban Castano to Thailand • Esteban rated extremely high at district interviews • Wanted to make a difference • Immersed himself in culture of Thailand • Experienced amazing year • Built video to music which RI shared on RI web site (to be shown at RYE booth)
  11. 11. After Esteban’s Year • Motivated 15 students to apply for RYE • Following graduation, awarded scholarship to Dartmouth University • Later selected to attend School of Economics in London • Served as lead trainer at outbound camp for past 2 years • Eventually will be amazing Rotarian • Classic example – the more you give, the more you receive
  12. 12. Charlotte Thornton’s Dream Classroom Project
  13. 13. Charlotte Thornton in Paraguay • Wanted to improve the education at her high school in Coronel Oviedo – No textbooks; teacher recited; students copied – Not good way to learn • Approached principal about Rotary donating laptops, projectors, screens for the 3 classrooms – Principal’s face instantaneously lit up with joy at idea of anything being donated
  14. 14. Charlotte In Paraguay • Charlotte put together project plan – costs, installation, maintenance, security, … and approached West U Rotary for support • Club quickly approved project • Local club supported as well
  15. 15. Charlotte in Paraguay • Equipment purchased in town 3 hours away • Big day when equipment presented to school – Television – Guest speakers • Charlotte with Rotary’s help has revoluntionalized way of learning in Coronel Oviedo for years to come
  16. 16. New Rotarians Active in RYE • Ralph Gonsoulin – daughter to Sweden, son to Turkey • John Thornton – daughter to Paraguay • Jay Taylor – daughter to France • Roseline Curran – daughter to France • Kim Scofield – daughter to Poland • Brazilians – sons and daughters to everywhere
  17. 17. RYE Impact on Rotarian • My friend Kathy Meurin once said: – The overhead with RYE is huge with all of the paperwork now required – No amount of paperwork will ever drive me away from this program
  18. 18. RYE Impact on Students • As said by Aleksandra Szczepanek from Poland : – How RYE has impacted me: • I`m a Rotary Exchange Student so I`m the luckiest person in the world. • I’m a much better person • RYE is something that I’ll never forget – How RYE impacts the world • Youth Exchange is a wonderful way of providing peace in the world.