Former exchange student and a Temple University Student, Kyle James s aid  "At only 22 years young I can still look back and truly understand how powerful choices are.


"When you really think about it you can say, 'I have the power to choose if I am going to smile today. I have the power to choose if I will work hard to make it to the top of this company.  "'I have the power to choose whether I want to further myself in education or run around chasing other men with bottles and shovels. I have a choice to determine what direction my life goes.'"


Mr. James, who has taken part in various international exchange programmes including a trip to Taiwan with Rotary Exchange in 2004 and a Semester at Sea programme in 2008 believes such experiences ultimately shaped him into the man he is today.  "Overall my year in Taiwan was the catalyst in stirring up the desire in me to see and experience more of the world," he said. "As a study abroad year or semester would do I developed my social skills, increased (my) self confidence, and developed a better view of the world around me."  He said the programmes had their challenges from language barriers to culture shock but also many benefits.  As well as bolstering a resume, they offer young people access to different languages and cultures, as well as opportunities for more adventure, social interaction and personal growth.  Mr. James told Rotarians: "Living in Bermuda I feel as if sometimes we think the Island is the centre of the world, regardless of the fact that you actually have to wear strong glasses to find us on a map.   "Because we are isolated as a Country I feel that young Bermudians do not have a sufficient appreciation of the world around us and more importantly how fortunate we are to live here."


Kyle told Rotarians about his current goals: to set up a Semester at Sea scholarship fund and encourage more young people to take advantage of exchange opportunities on the Island.  "I do not believe I was fortunate enough to experience all I did, to not share it with others," he said. "To whom much is given, much is expected and I now have the responsibility to invest into others lives so that they too can expand their horizons."   He continued: "I promise you, there are more young Bermudians on the Island that are doing great things than you are aware of.  "Let's not [just] encourage [those individuals] to be the best that they can be to make loads of money, but so that they contribute to the successfulness of our Island."


The thanks of the club were given by PAG David who commended Kyle on his contributions, calling him just one of the many "shining examples" on the Island.


(EDITOR: As my notes did a "walk about" this account is taken from the Royal Gazette article by Nadia Arandjelovic