Posted by Beth Selby, District 7070 Governor , 2019-20

May is Youth Services Month

Dear fellow Rotarians, 

Youth Services is Rotary International’s focus for the month of May.  District 7070 has an outstanding presence in the areas of EarlyAct, Interact, Youth Exchange, RYLA, and Rotaract.

EarlyAct is a school club for elementary students in grades five to eight to educate them about Rotary.  The program focuses on preparing students to take on leadership roles in their school and community.

As a former secondary school teacher and administrator, I witnessed the significant contribution of Interact Clubs.  As a Cobourg Rotarian, I am always pleased to hear regular updates from the Cobourg Collegiate Institute Interact Club’s activities-Halloween for Hunger, bake sales, community dinner, and the 30 Hour Fast- to name a few of their events that raise funds to help their community........ 

During club visits this year, I spoke passionately about my involvement in the Youth Exchange program.  Long before I became a Rotarian, my husband and I were involved in the program as Club Counsellors.  From 1993 to 2009, we were counsellors to five students - one from each of Mexico, France, Australia, Japan, and Denmark.  We continue to have a strong relationship with two of our students that we affectionately refer to our Mexican and Danish daughters.  Barry and I have also been our Club’s Youth Exchange Officer.  My involvement in this program brought me to Rotary, and I continue to value it as a Rotarian and District Leader.

RYLA (Rotary Youth Leadership Awards) is a leadership experience organized by the District.  Youth ranging in age from 19 to 25 are sponsored by a Rotary Club to attend an intensive program focused on diversity, leadership and action which also allows the attendees to make connections and have fun.  We had to cancel this year’s program due to COVID-19, but we plan to offer the program in May, 2021. 

Our District has 12 Rotaract Clubs that are either community, college or university-based.  Their focus is on personal and professional growth, community service, and action to support local and international causes.  Visit our District website to learn about our Rotaract Clubs, and then visit their online presence for more valuable information about their priorities and accomplishments.  Our Rotaractors are truly ‘People of Action’.

Is your Club considering greater involvement in Youth Services?  Speak with your local elementary and/or secondary school about establishing an EarlyAct and/or Interact Club.  Consider sponsoring an Outbound and Inbound Youth Exchange student.  Sponsor a youth who has demonstrated community leadership to attend RYLA.  Invite young adults in your community to a ‘meet & greet’ to discuss the benefits and possibilities of Rotaract.  Invite members of these Youth Services programs to speak at an upcoming meeting.  Their enthusiasm is catching!

Yours in Rotary,


Beth Selby, District Governor 2019-20