Youth Committee

The youth committee is comprised of a core of at last 10 members of the club with another 6-10 members supporting various programs.
The core group meets monthly on the first Tuesday of the month before the weekly lunch meeting.
Highlights from the last year:
  • Supporting Rotary Youth programs
    • RYLA. We supported 2 students to RYL North and 3 students to RYLA south
    • Rotaract clubs. Support the Young Professionals and also the UBC clubs. WE provide financial support for their president to go to PETS and some of their projects. ( Joan Posivy is liaison)
    • Interact club. Chartered new club at Sir Winston Churchill. Financial support for leaders to attend district conference and RYLA. ( Adriana Zylman liaison)
    • YEX NO students this past year or this year. Death of long time coordinator, Don Kavanagh. Left a legacy to our foundation to help fund in future. (John Hayto and Kendall Jessiman working to have YEX in 2019-20)
    • Adventures in Citizenship/STEP. Nothing in last year but supporting this year. (John Hayto liaison)
    • RICHWA Award: $300 award for outstanding Rotaractor
    • PACE: provide annual financial support
    • DISTRICT Rotaract Chair: Joan Posivy from our club
  • Norquay School
    • One on one reading. Volunteer readers and financial support for books $1,500. John Richardson liaison with readers, Phil Webber, John Hayto
    • Breakfast and emergency food. Last year VSB suspended the program, which ended many years of support from our Club. We have supported their emergency food locker, $2,000 ( john Richardson liaison )
    • Food Programs: Reviewing our club’s focus on helping with food programs in schools or community Centres
  • Scholarships
    • Stay in School 13th year of program at Gladstone Secondary School. Program identifies students of potential for post secondary in Grade 10 but who have financial challenges. Base program provides $7,000 scholarship payable over school life. Two awards each year. Rotarian Mindi Ingram provides $1,000 supplementary award. ( John Bathurst Liaison)
  • Youth at Risk
    • Hoop a thon with Sunrise club; 2nd year of partnership with Sunrise club. Raised almost $3,000 from our club for support of Strathcona community centre basketball and student scholarships. ( Angus Campbell liaison)
    • Studio 54 Gala  First Year fund raiser to support youth program especially focused on Ray Cam Community Centre which is adjacent to Strathcona centre ( See Hoop a thon) ( Brian Street inspired and liaison). Small loss but great event, more next year
    • Britannia Boys Basketball: new request for support from Sunrise club, ($2,800)
    • Exploring new relationships with:
      •  Ray-cam community centre
      • Aunt Leah’s centre for ageing out foster children



Sponsored by a local Rotary Club, Rotaract is a service club for young men and women, making them true “partners in service” and key members of the Rotary family. The Rotary Club of Vancouver sponsored the community based Rotaract Club of Vancouver at the University of British Columbia in 2002 and the Rotaract Club of Greater Vancouver Young Professionals in downtown Vancouver in 2014.
The Rotaract Club of Vancouver is run by university students who determine their own executive officers and directors and arrange for general meetings of their members on a regular basis during the university school year from September to April. The club meets once every week at the UBC Point Grey campus and the meeting time varies from school term to school term based on the availability of its members.

The Rotaract Club of Greater Vancouver Young Professionals is primarily for young adults in the early part of their careers from about age 23 to 30.

There are more than 9,700 Rotaract clubs in almost 180 countries and geographical areas. The estimated world wide Rotaract membership is more than 220,000.
Rotaract has the following goals:
  • To develop professional and leadership skills
  • To provide opportunities for personal and group activities to serve the community and promote international understanding and goodwill toward all people
  • To recognize, practice, and promote ethical standards as leadership qualities and vocational responsibilities
  • To develop knowledge and understanding of the needs, problems, and opportunities in the community and worldwide
Current and past projects of the Rotaract Club of Vancouver include:
  • Annual Professional Development Conference, for high school and university students
  • Berwick Program: Help children with developmental disabilities 
  • Halloween and Christmas: Events for children at Kiwassa Neighbourhood House
  • Organizing a Service trip to Sao Paulo, Brazil in August 2011 with the Rotaract Club of Ancheita
  • Music for Japan: educational fundraiser/musical concert in the spring of 2011 to raise awareness about the earthquake in Japan
  • Sexual and Menstrual Health Education in Ghana Project: The UBC Rotaract Club is working to improve education on sexual and menstrual health for women in Ghana. To this end, they’re creating easy to understand infographics and a video covering these topics. They are also partnering with various local organizations such as highschool textiles classes to hand make sanitary pads, and they’re creating an instruction manual on how to create one yourself using fabric.
    The team chose to pursue an education based service project because they believe it is a sustainable approach that could have a long lasting impact on the community they hope to serve. This project also comes with its challenges - they recognize the cultural differences between the Canadian society and the community they want to help. To address this, they are speaking with contacts in Ghana to gain more insight on their perspectives, and use this information to offer educational material that is respectful and culturally appropriate.
  • Rotaract Canada Forward Symposium: the UBC club partnered with Rotaract Canada and several other Rotaract clubs across Canada to put on a training conference for Rotaractors. They came together with the common goal of offering accessible and comprehensive training for Rotaractors. The conference has several main pillars, such as tailored training for various executive roles in a Rotaract club (not just the President, but for Treasurer, Secretary, etc), introduction to Rotaract and Rotary, as well as opportunities to connect and inspire Rotaractors. This event took place recently, over the weekend of Mar 19-21, and garnered over 163 Rotaractors. 8 members from the UBC club also attended the conference under sponsorship from the Rotary Club of Vancouver, and the club was selected as panelist to present the Ghana community service project.
Rotaract contact – Kendall Jessiman
Rotaract District 5040:
2015 Rotaract Club of Vancouver contacts: Vancouver Young Professionals Rotaract Club contacts:




Interact is a Rotary International service club for young people ages 12 to 18, sponsored by a local Rotary club that provides support and guidance. Members have an opportunity to:
  • Make new friends
  • Improve their community
  • Develop leadership skills
  • Make a difference in the world
Interact clubs are self-governing and financially independent, so they choose and carry out their own service projects. At least two community service projects, including one that furthers international understanding and goodwill, are completed each year.
In the 2012-13 Rotary year, Rotary International celebrated the 50th anniversary of the first chartered Interact club.
With more than 10,700 clubs and 200,000 Interactors in over 100 countries and geographic regions, Interact is a worldwide phenomenon!  Interactors are donating relief supplies to victims of natural disasters, organizing fundraisers to purchase books for needy schools, and volunteering their time and energy in the community.

The Rotary Club of Vancouver sponsors an Interact Club at Gladstone Secondary School

Interact contact Kendall Jessiman


    Rotary Youth Leadership Awards (RYLA)

RYLA is designed for young adults with proven leadership ability and a commitment to community service.  Whether they are a secondary school student, university student, or young professional, RYLA helps young adults discover their potential and develop the skills needed to be a leader in their community, career, and everyday life.  RYLA is a fun-filled 3 to 4 day intensive training program in a camp format for community youth leaders.  Young people chosen for their leadership potential attend an all-expenses-paid seminar to discuss leadership skills and to hone those skills through practice. 
RYLA emphasizes leadership, citizenship, and personal growth, and aims to:
  • Demonstrate Rotary’s respect and concern for youth
  • Provide an effective training experience for selected youth and potential leaders
  • Encourage leadership of youth by youth
  • Recognize publicly young people who are rendering service to their communities
RYLA can also provide leadership skills training for Rotaractors and Interactors who wish to lead their clubs effectively.  The sponsoring Rotary club provides the registration costs, currently $425 per participant.
Rotary District 5040 has three RYLA conferences:
  • RYLA North (ages 19 to 25) in Prince George, BC
  • RYLA South (Grade 10, 11 & 12) near Vancouver, BC
  • RYLA Lakelse (Grade 8, 9 & 10 completed by June) near Terrace, BC
The Rotary Club of Vancouver needs quality Grade 10, 11 & 12 student applications for RYLA South, which is the RYLA primarily supported by our club.  See further information at the link for 2013 RYLA South.

RYLA contact – Kendall Jessiman



      Rotary Youth Exchange


Rotary Youth Exchange students on long-term exchanges during the academic year spend up to a year living with a few host families and attending school in a different country.  They learn a new way of living, a great deal about themselves, and maybe even a new language. As an ambassador for their own country, they teach people about their country, culture and ideas.
More than 8,000 young people each year are on a Rotary Youth Exchange experiencing a different life in a new country.
Rotary club volunteers administer the program at the local level and host families provide housing and meals, which helps keep costs low for students and their families. 
Outgoing Rotary Exchange students from Rotary District 5040 must be between the ages of 16 and 17, six months prior to departure.  Each exchange student must be sponsored by a local Rotary club and applicants are interviewed to see if they will be an excellent cultural ambassador.  They must possess interpersonal skills, such as flexibility and a willingness to try new things.  Exchange students should be willing to make presentations to the Rotary members at their host and sponsoring clubs.
This is a very popular program with Rotary districts and clubs from more than 80 countries participating.  Some of the friendships made during the exchanges will last a lifetime.  For over 75 years, students and host families have broadened their horizons through Rotary Youth Exchange.
The Rotary Club of Vancouver has participated in the Youth Exchange program for over 30 years.  Recent outgoing exchange students went to diverse countries such as Mexico, Brazil and France.  Recent incoming exchange students were from countries such as the Netherlands, Germany, Italy and Brazil.
Short-Term Exchange Program (STEP)
STEP is a short-term youth exchange program based upon a reciprocal family to family exchange for young people aged 15 to 19 at the time of the exchange.  It is only open to Rotarian families and families recommended by Rotary clubs.
Candidates are expected to be bright, outgoing, adaptable, friendly, well spoken and generally good ambassadors for Canada and for Rotary.  Each family is responsible for co-ordinating mutually agreeable dates and flights for the exchange with the matching family.  Usually a student will spend 3 to 5 weeks overseas with the host family, then the two students travel together in the middle leg of the exchange and spend 3 to 5 weeks with the other family before that student returns home.  Exchanges with Northern hemisphere countries are completed during the summer months but Southern hemisphere exchanges may be offset by 6 months so students can travel during their respective summer holidays.
Each family covers the cost of travel for their student and are expected to treat the visiting student like a member of their family.  In each case the hosting family is responsible for food and lodging but students are responsible for their own spending money.
The exchange is administered through the District Youth Exchange Program, which will make every effort to find a match for participants in their preferred countries.  The application forms and other information can be downloaded from a Rotary District 5040 website at the link below.  Candidates can apply to the Rotary Club of Vancouver Youth Exchange Officer who will then forward the completed applications and signed “Program Guidelines for Parents and Students” to Rotary District 5040 STEP Program representative by the end of February.
A sponsoring Rotary Club has only three basic responsibilities:
  • Find good candidates that are outgoing, friendly, adaptable, adventurous and reasonably good students.  They need to be good ambassadors for Rotary and for Canada.
  • Interview the student and the family in their home to ensure it is a suitable environment for the incoming student and that the club is completely comfortable recommending the student and the family to STEP.
  • Complete the application forms and send them to the Rotary District STEP representative with the accompanying registration fee.
The Rotary Club of Vancouver has arranged STEP’s for direct exchanges between families including students going to France, Germany, Spain, Italy, Finland, Belgium, Czech Republic, Mexico, Japan and Brazil.

Youth Exchange contact – Don Kavanagh

Rotary Adventure in Citizenship Program

The Rotary Adventure in Citizenship Program is an investment in Canadian youth by the Rotary Club of Ottawa.  The program has been in existence for more than 60 years from 1951.  It is a unique opportunity for 200 outstanding senior high school students aged 16 to 18 from across Canada to spend four days in the National Capital in a program designed to develop their potential as leaders in their communities and in Canadian society.
The program is an exceptional opportunity for the Adventurers to explore our Canadian identity, shared values, the freedoms we all enjoy, our history of tolerance and the search for compromises to bridge our differences.  The obligation to be ethical and fair in all relationships is considered.  Also examined are what it means that most Canadians are either immigrants or descendants of immigrants.
While the program is focussed on our federal government processes and institutions, it is founded on the premise that the most important attributes of citizenship are determined by Canadians individually and collectively.
Over 10,000 students have participated in the program including former Governor General Adrienne Clarkson, the Right Honourable Joe Clark and the Honourable Edward Broadbent.
Applications should be received by our club by the end of November.  The Rotary Club of Ottawa only accepts the first 200 Club applications.

Adventure in Citizenship contact – Don Kavanagh
Rotary Club of Ottawa:

Stay in School Awards


The Rotary Club of Vancouver had been providing scholarships to first year university and college students for a number of years. In 2005 the club reviewed its participation with these scholarships and decided it wanted to have more impact and connections with the students to whom it was providing financial support. It wanted to help financially stressed students wishing to pursue post secondary education.  Students first think about continuing their education after Grade 12 as early as Grade 9 or 10.  It was recognized that the decision to pursue post secondary education depends heavily on having sufficient financial resources to pay for this education.
In 2006 the Stay in School Award program was started to assist worthy students in East Vancouver’s Gladstone Secondary School. The Grade 10 students getting the award are identified by the school’s principal and counsellors.  The program provides long term financial support with awards of $7,000 each to two students per year who have the aptitude to continue their studies, but who do not have the financial means.  The students are given $1,000 during their remaining years in high school and $1,500 per year for post secondary education for a maximum of 4 years.  Each year the award money is disbursed to the Vancouver School Board and they oversee the administration of the funds and its disbursement to the award recipients.
Since its inception, more than $100,000 has been funded by the Vancouver Rotary Club Foundation.
The program, primarily with the aid of the school counsellor, seeks out students that have:
  • Strong scholastic performance and potential
  • Financial need
  • Involvement in school activities outside the classroom or similar community based volunteer programs, or if they have not already demonstrated such involvement they must have a clear plan for undertaking such involvement
  • The support of their parent(s) for ongoing academic/technical studies past high school graduation
  • The support of their high school counsellor.
The quality of the student’s application is considered, especially the student essay that is an integral part of the application.
Everyone who has helped with the selection process has been moved by the stories of the applicants: the stories of the perseverance of the students not only in their studies but in their lives. We are also greatly inspired by the commitment of the student counsellors at Gladstone School and their assistance to their students.
The program is intended to be more than just a financial award. Rotarians are assigned to the students to monitor their progress in their studies and be available to discuss the student’s future plans.
In January 2013 previous recipients were invited to a reception at Gladstone School.  The first students receiving these awards graduated from university in 2012.

Stay in School Awards contact – John Bathurst

John Norquay Elementary School Breakfast/Reading Program

Norquay Breakfast/Reading Program contact – John Richardson