Matthew Swerdloff and his wife Elisa Gold were devastated when their 15-year-old daughter Maya Gold unexpectedly committed suicide in 2015, but they determined that they would work to support and empower other teenagers. They formed the Maya Gold Foundation that helps teenagers access their inner wisdom and realize their dreams. Because one of Maya’s dreams was to help orphans in Nepal, the Foundation.
Nepal Youth Foundation
Children and Mothers in Nepal
Courteney Heller tells Jonah Triebwasser and Kathy Kruger about River Haven Shelter, emergency housing and support services for runaway and homeless boys and girls ages 10 through 17 in Dutchess County. The shelter, in one form or another, has existed in Poughkeepsie since 1984, and currently can house12 youth at a time (about 100 a year), two to a room. A vegetable garden not only supplies fresh food for the table but is one of several ways that counselors help these preteens and teens reintegrate with their family—if they have one—and society. They also perform community service and continue to attend school while in the shelter. Each evening Ms. Heller prepares a family meal for the residents, which they consume together as they talk about their days. The shelter is part of Hudson Valley Housing, which has various programs to aid the homeless.
RadioRotary interviews Carmel Rotarian Marjorie Keith and recent Mahopac High School student Robert Solerno about the role of the 4-H Club of Putnam Country. Keith is the Executive Director of Putnam County’s branch of the Cornell Cooperative Extension, which sponsors 4-H clubs, while Solerno is not only an enthusiastic member of 4-H, but also a former member of the Mahopac High School Interact Club. Although we think of 4-H (which stands for Head, Heart, Hands, and Health) primarily as rural, the club thrives in Putnam County, which is not rural, with programs or divisions devoted to pet care, media, crafts, the environment, and leadership. A major event is the annual Putnam Country 40H Fair in Kent, NY, that features many local booths devoted to 4-H-related activities and activities that interest children as well as a famous chicken dinner on Saturday night of the Fair.
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.