Rotary Youth Exchange
Rotary Club of Tehachapi
February 2, 2019
Rotary has a program that allows young people from our local Rotary Club area to go on a “Youth Exchange” to a foreign country and, in the exchange, a student from another country comes to Tehachapi for a year. This is the first year the Rotary Club of Tehachapi will be participating in this exciting program. Aiden Wood, a student at Valley Oaks Charter School and a member of our VOCHS Interact Club has applied and is looking forward to going abroad this coming fall.
To quote Aiden:
“I first heard about Rotary’s foreign exchange program in April of 2018 when I was selected by the Rotary Club of Tehachapi to attend RYLA – a leadership program sponsored by Rotary. My initial thought on the matter was that it sounded both extremely scary and extremely exciting at the same time, but was ultimately not for me. However, over time, I could not stop thinking about participating in a foreign exchange. I looked into Rotary’s program more, and the idea became less scary and more exciting. Now, I want to be a foreign exchange student for many different reasons. There are, of course, the obvious benefits of traveling the world, experiencing a new culture and learning a new language, but it is more than that. Through the Rotary’s fantastic exchange program, whether it be with host families, other exchange students, or people at school, I will get a plethora of opportunities to build lasting friendships. Perhaps what I am most looking forward to is self-improvement. While exchanges produce many amazing and fun experiences, they are not always easy, and I will be put in an environment that will force me to grow and mature as I am granted more independence. When I get back from my exchange I hope to be more prepared for the adult life I am soon to begin. For these reasons and more I cannot articulate herein, I want to be a foreign exchange student.”
Rotary is excited to sponsor Aiden and to welcome a student in exchange to our area and show them all about Tehachapi and small town life in America. Rotary is looking for three volunteer families to house the in-coming student for 3-4 months. The Rotary Club of Tehachapi would sponsor and provide a stipend for student expenses. The host family would be asked to house and feed and take good care of the student—introducing them to all that your family enjoys. Because this is a program of Rotary International, costs are kept to a minimum and our Tehachapi Rotary Club would be the sponsor and overseer of the student—ready to help when needed.
If you think your family might be interested and have questions, please contact Judy Trujillo—the Rotarian in charge of this Tehachapi exchange ([email protected]). Aiden is excited for the opportunity and Rotary is looking forward to helping him achieve his dreams as well as welcoming a new student to Tehachapi.
The Rotary Club of Tehachapi meets on Thursdays at noon at The Shed, if you are interested in membership you are welcome to join us any Thursday. For more information contact Tim Trujillo at (661) 821-0086.