10 Reasons Why Every Student Should Join Rotary International

Rotary International can transform high school and college students into globetrotting future leaders, all they need to do is apply.

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Co-authored by Peter Danjczek and Josue Lopez Calderon

While some are familiar with the Rotary name, many would be surprised to learn that Rotary International is a powerful network of service clubs that together control over $600 million in cash and in-kind donations annually. This network is comprised of over 2 million members across more than 200 countries and geographic areas, and includes notable alumni by the likes of fortune 500 executives, Nobel Prize winners, and five U.S. Presidents. Thinking Rotary is only for baby boomers could not be further from the truth.

Rotary offers several opportunities for high school and university students to gain access to leaders of industry, develop leadership skills, travel abroad, and gain a global perspective for service. In fact, the list below may just have a program that will provide you or a student you know the opportunity of a lifetime.

  1. Service Above Self — Did you know that you can serve on local, national and international committees, while working on important projects ranging from disaster relief, eradicating polio, clean water sanitation and hygiene, and promoting peace? As a student, this service oriented mission will help you develop transferable skill sets, while helping you to complete critical volunteer hours for school applications.

2. Amazing Partnerships — Want to collaborate on projects with the likes of Amazon, The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, The Global Food Banking Network, Peace Corps, Shelter Box, Disaster Aid USA, UNICEF, USAID, WHO, CDC, Youth Service America, and Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library?

3. Scholarships — Need one? Check out some of these amazing opportunities.

4. Rotary Youth Exchanges — Want to immerse yourself in a new language, and culture? If you’re 15–19 years of age and want to study abroad for one year then you qualify.

5. Rotary Peace Fellowships — Want to serve abroad? Every year Rotary selects 100 peace fellows to study at a Rotary Peace Center around the world.

6. RYLA — Need help figuring out what you want to major in? Or perhaps you want to further develop some critical problem solving skills? Then sign up for the Rotary Youth Leadership Awards which is a week-long personal and professional development program.

7. Rotary Foundation Grants — Do you have an idea for a project but need financial resources? Then apply for a grant from the Rotary Foundation.

8. Rotary International Conventions — Want to listen to amazing keynote speakers, and meet new friends all while discovering a new country?

9. Relationship with the United Nations — Did you know nearly 50 of the 800 delegates responsible for drafting the United Nations Charter in 1945 were also members of Rotary? Rotary International and the United Nations remain close partners, offering several opportunities for today’s youth to serve as global citizens, including Rotary International Day at the United Nations and Rotaract Global Model United Nations International Youth Conference.

10. New Generations Service Exchange — Interested in doing a three-month internship in another country or going abroad together with friends for four to six weeks? With NGSE you can design your own short term exchange program.

So what are you waiting for?

If you’re a young adult between the ages of 18 to 30 who is interested in helping others and developing new skills, join Rotaract. And if you’re a student between the ages of 12–18 who is also interested in the above join Interact today! Then whenever you are ready, you can join Rotary because it’s all about paving the way for the next generation of civic leaders.

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