In a live show at Millbrook Rotary RadioRotary interviews George Ouimet, this year’s president of the Millbrook High Interact Club, and Luisa Pereira, this year’s incoming Youth Exchange (YEX) student to Millbrook Rotary. Ouimet describes recent projects of Interact, including two canned food drives, two recent blood drives, the Purple Pinkie Project, and the Scott Meyer Memorial 5K Run. George joined Interact in his sophomore year because he wanted to give back to his community. Luisa Pereira competed with 180 other students to become a YEX representative from Brazil. Being a YEX student and living with three families in the Millbrook School District for a whole school year is not the entire exchange experience. She has traveled to Vermont, Connecticut, and New Jersey, and visited New York City several times. Luisa strongly recommends the YEX experience—the best year of her life so far.
Rotary has had a unique role in the United Nations starting even before the UN was founded. Each year the United Nations invites more than a thousand Rotarians, members of associated groups such as Rotaract and Interact, and students participating in Rotary international Youth Exchange to come to UN headquarters in New York for panel discussions with Rotary leadership, UN ambassadors, and heads of international nongovernmental organizations. Also each year since 2009 the RadioRotary team has been there to interview some of the participants. This is the first set of interviews from 2015.
When Red Hook High School Student Abby Romm was 15, she decided that she wanted to spend a year abroad. She had learned of the Rotary Youth Exchange program and applied, listing Spain as her first choice, since she had already studied Spanish; but she was happy to learn she would be going to Italy, a country she had visited 8 years earlier and loved. Somewhere in the process, she told her parents, who hesitated at first but then approved and now agree with Abby that it was one of the best things she could do. Her father, Bard College Professor Dr. James Romm, briefly joins the RadioRotary interview with Ms. Ram and reports that now Abby is a citizen of the world as a result of the Youth Exchange experience. Listen to the show for her account of her exciting exchange year.
Loads of fun at this on-site interview with two sets of high school Rotary Youth Exchange students: Inbound students from all over the world who have spent a year in the Hudson Valley and Outbound Hudson Valley students who will be leaving to spend a year abroad. The students are endearing, charming, and at times very funny. Inbound students describe the foods they enjoyed (for example—the Thailand student’s favorite is lasagna), the difference in schooling here and at home, and what they learned from their experiences. Outbound students describe why they decided to participate in an exchange program and what they hope to learn.