Saturday afternoon on April 18th,  your District Youth Exchange leaders, Club Youth Exchange Officers and Councilors met online and have to report that sadly, due to the viral uncertainties that lay ahead, our District has determined that we cannot safely participate in Youth Exchange this coming year. You can imagine our disappointment that after over 40 years of District involvement, we must suspend the program for a year.

Chairman, Megan Skelly is informing Central States of our decision that was made in the interest of safety for our students. She is heart-broken but knows that her goal of giving each student the best exchange experience possible, is NOT possible under our current circumstances.

Our Short-Term Exchange program leaders Kerrylyn Whalen Rodriguez, Craig Beintema and Scott Shore came to the same conclusion about a month ago.

Some additional items decided:

  • Those Students who have applied this year will be deferred to next year if they wish. No immediate decision needs to be made, but the offer is to remain open to each student. (click more for add'l read)
Rotary Youth Exchange 2019-20 D6420 Inbound Class. District Governor Elect Tom Brooks, Emilia - Germany, Antonio (Toni) - Spain, Prach (Pun) - Thailand, Lucas - Belgium, Yuzuki - Japan, Valentina - Columbia, Emil - Finland, Carolina - Bolivia, Yen-Tung (Annie) - Taiwan, District YE Chair Megan Skelly, Photo by Gary Francque
  • While there has been no decision as to the Summer Conference at Calvin University in Grand Rapids, it is possible that the conference will go "virtual" with numerous separate sessions. Our students, including deferred students, and including Inbounds who have returned home, are invited to participate. We anticipate that there will be a separate breakout session for deferred applicants.
  • Inbounds who are still here need an "end date" for their exchange -- which will be June 15 for those who had not departed by then. All special circumstances will be considered, however. Of course, EVERY exchange terminating due to COVID will be deemed a "successfully ended" exchange. 
  • We need a letter or email from each Inbound's family asking that they remain with us until their flight home. Seems like it goes without saying, but we need that for CSRYE records. 
  • Regarding fees paid by Outbounds' families, all unused funds will be returned. We are getting a breakdown on that but frankly extraordinarily little has been spent to date. 

We who serve on the Youth Exchange committee will spend our time working to ensure that when it is safe to resume, our District will be well represented by a large class of Inbounds and Outbounds. These kids always make us proud.