On April 18th, Paula Witt traveled to Arnold for the Rotary meeting, as well as to meet with sophomore Interact student Eli Rogers.  Following the district conference, Rogers became motivated to promote the Rotary Youth Exchange program within our school again.  He knew it was once a thriving annual program to have an exchange student come to Arnold.

While that was several years ago, Rogers wondered why it stopped.  He asked principal Alison Goodenow if he could bring her in and try to get more RYE students to return because the students, “get so much from meeting these foreign exchange students.”

Paul Witt helped everyone understand, “You can change what the world thinks about a country with one person.”  These students are in the role of ambassadors when they are traveling and living with the host families in the host communities.  “They come home with a bigger worldview.”

Witt explained how the program worked to Rogers, the school administration, the Interact sponsor, and several members of the Rotary club before even arriving at the Rotary Club presentation.  She went through the calendar of due dates, and announcement dates, and explained the ideal years for American students to travel.

Witt also explained that “RYE really is the future of Rotary.  If you want to increase your membership in Rotary, recruit people to be host families, they will be more likely to join the Rotary.  If we can get. kids to want to travel abroad, we can recruit outbound parents to join. If kids are in the host families, or they travel, they will most likely join Rotary as adults.”