From President Mina Ward:
On Tuesday we were lucky enough to have Rotaractor and Group 7 Representative for District 9520 Youth Exchange Committee Trephina Gartley at our meeting. Trephina spoke about her year as a Rotary Youth Exchange Student in Finland. Throughout 2010, Trephina embraced the experiences of a lifetime, which have shaped her to be the well-rounded person she is today.
During the length of an exchange, a student can go through all manner of emotions from excitement, gratitude, humbleness to home sickness, uncertainty and pure fear! Trephina believes her philosophy of saying ‘Yes’ to opportunities helped her to slowly fit into the foreign environment and bond with her host families, over coming some of the emotions she was facing. A big part of Rotary Youth Exchange is the hosting by Rotary Clubs and families – you don’t get this with any other youth exchange program in the world.
Trephina had two different host families, this can usually be three to four, or more. The travel opportunities that are opened up by being hosted by Rotary Clubs and families, again is a very unique experience. Trephina told us of how she enjoyed helping one of her host families build their Mökki (summer cottage by the lake), even though the tasks to them may have seemed menial, she loved it.
As big as the culture shock was, Trephina embraced everything thrown at her, including taking naked saunas with host families and calling her school teacher a ‘Passport’. Though out the talk on Tuesday it was clear to see how powerful Rotary is. Without Rotary as a vehicle this type of youth exchange would not be anywhere near as great as it is.
I encourage everyone in the club to discuss Rotary Youth Exchange with anyone in their life who is aged 15 to 17 and may be interested in going on exchange. For only $300, our club could help a young person have the experience of a lifetime. For more information look at the website http://9520.ryea.org.au or contact Mina.
Service Above Self Award: Norwood Morialta
On 23rd October Siony and Colin attended the Graduation Ceremony for Norwood Morialta High School at their Senior Campus. Siony presented our Club’s ‘Service Above Self Award’. This was a first for our Club with this particular School and the first recipient was Bevan Thulkanam. In addition to his scholastic standing Bevan more than fulfilled the criteria for the award.
Rotary Service above Self Award is for the student who best displays commitment to serve in the school and / or broader community. Rotary’s vision for Service Above Self is to promote high ethical standards, to advance world understanding, goodwill, peace and fellowship.