Youth Services

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1. Help get Interact started!


An Interact club has the potential to provide tremendous opportunities for Anchorage area students. We don't currently have an Interact club. However, since we sponsored RYLA last year, we have a list of high school students that may be interested in getting Interact started. This is Rotary's opportunity to mentor teens, grow future leaders, and foster (by example) the love of community service in teens.


We had our first Interact interest meeting 7/23, attended by Victoria Shaver (Downtown Rotary), Mariko Selle, (AER), and Aseem Telang, (Rotaract). We discussed that Interact would be

  • community-based (not school-based)
  • youth led (Rotarians will not push their own agendas on them - RYLA, 4-Way Test, Mobile Food will be suggested projects, but not forced!)
  • Rotarians will rotate attendance at meetings, and also meet to discuss how things are going.
  • Philosophy of being attracting a diverse student population.
  • meetings would be held somewhere fun and casual, like at someone's home, versus a conference room.

The possibilities are endless, as this is a new area for our club. There's a lot to do including,  recruiting teens as members, researching the state of their charter, recruit members from other Rotary clubs to get involved, help them find ways to get a website going, secure places to meet, and providing students with a lot of support. Interact needs even more Rotary involvement than Rotaract, and warrants a group of committed folks to be involved. Contact Susan Bunker for more information




2. Get involved in Rotaract


The goal of the Rotaract liaison is to foster a strong, collaborative relationship between Rotaract and Rotary.  
  • Attend Rotaract meetings and activities.
  • Help Rotaract HANDS-ON with their activities
  • Be strong ADVOCATES for Rotaract. Be MENTORS to Rotaract. Constantly remind Rotaract that Rotary cares strongly about their success and we are there for them all the way.
  • Promote Rotaract activities to Rotarians, and encourage Rotarians to support their activities.
  • Bring Rotary news and information to Rotaract.


Rotary Youth Leadership Awards (RYLA) is a totally-awesome, Rotary-sponsored, District-wide, a four-day leadership-training program for young leaders for high school sophomores and juniors.  RYLA emphasizes leadership, citizenship and personal growth as participants learn about their own qualities/skills as a leader and also the qualities of effective leaders and effective teams. RYLA will be held in Anchorage around March, 2008. Kids who went last year described the program as "life changing."


3. We need a "RYLA rep" for Anchorage East Rotary!

The responsibility of the RYLA rep is to be the key liaison between Anchorage East Rotary and the schools (probably Bartlett and East). The RYLA rep will go to the school, promote RYLA to the career counselors, security guards, teachers, etc. Last year, they were also the ones that collected applications, screened students, selected students, confirmed the Rotary club delivered a check, and so on.


4. Join the RYLA planning committee!

The planning committee will begin meeting in August and are the ones responsible for putting on the event. Some of the subcommittees include things like program planning, volunteer coordination, food and beverage coordination, treasurer, hotel coordination, and so on. As in planning any conference, it's a lot of work, but this is extremely rewarding.



Youth Exchange Officer - Corbin Sawyer

Assistant YEO - Sandra Wicks 


5. Serve on the "student experience" committee

We want to make the exchange experience truly amazing for our inbound students. We also want need to be supportive of our rebound students. The student experience committee:

  • Makes sure exchange students are invited to fun Rotary events.
  • Follows up with Rotarians who participate in activities with exchange students.
  • Encourage Rotarians to share their experiences with exchange students at meetings and/or club bulletin.
  • Organize groups to go out to the airport to greet students at arrival or departure.

Contact student experience chair Craig Bledsoe.


6. Serve on the "host experience" committee

We deeply appreciate and commend our wonderful host families for the pivitol role they play in making Youth Exchange a success. The role of the "host experience committee" is to make sure host families are recognized for all they do:

  • Invite (non-Rotarian) host families to Rotary meetings and social events as appropriate
  • Coordinating a host appreciation meeting where hosts are invited to a Rotary meeting and recognized for their good work
  • Coordinate club signing of thank you cards to hosts.
  • Interview the family with the student and write and feature them in our club newsletter.

Contact host experience chair Megan Brady.


Contact Mariko join the Youth Services committee:  

Mariko Selle, AER Youth Services

(907) 301-2580