YOUTH & VOCATIONAL SERVICE
The Youth Services committee has as its focus the development and support of youth. Activities range from learning opportunities to supporting group initiatives to funding programming for vulnerable children. The committee is able to assist groups like the Jeanne Ferguson Knit Program, Winter Warmth, elementary and secondary school projects, and Interact and Rotaract groups. This support and development is much needed and well appreciated by those involved. Also, since 2005, the Jim Frid Book Distribution is the longest running annual community program. Thousands of new children’s books have been distributed to multiple agencies including Kingston Health Sciences Centre, Partners in Mission Foodbank, Salvation Army and the YMCA.
Rotaract is a Rotary-sponsored service club for young men and women ages 18 to 30. The program is part of a global effort to bring peace and international understanding to the world. It is a way for post-secondary students to develop professional and leadership skills, serve their community and the world while promoting goodwill and friendship.
It is our great pleasure to sponsor the Queen's University Rotaract Club, a very active club with an outstanding executive and membership. The Rotaractors assist our club in projects such as The Easter Seals Telethon and the Boys and Girls Club, through annual fundraisers including their 'Pi Day' pie baking extravaganza, and their 'odd job auction'. Their highly successful 'Purple Pinky' event has raised thousands of dollars for Polio Plus each year to help eradicate polio from the world.
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Our Rotary Club has the great pleasure of sponsoring three Interact Clubs for students aged 12 to 18. Interact provides an opportunity for secondary school students to contribute to their community and make a difference in the world, while developing leadership skills and having fun!
Interactors from all three clubs have enjoyed Rotary opportunities including Youth Exchange, RYLA, and many of the Adventures programs. Members in each club connect with other youth across the country through events such as We Day, and run projects such as '30-hour Famine' and 'Vow of Silence' at school, to bring awareness to the plight of others.
The Frontenac Secondary School Interact Club was formed in 2007, with its first project offering computer assistance and tutoring in the home of senior residents. In 2009, it spearheaded a book drive collecting over 19,000 books, raising sufficient funds to provide a well for a school in Uganda. For many years they have participated in the District mission to El Salvador, and serve the local community through numerous Interact projects at school.
The LaSalle Secondary School Interact Club was formed in 2012, kicking off its first year with a golf tournament to raise funds for its major international project to Nicaragua. In the spring of 2013, thirty Interactors, teachers, and parents embarked on a two week volunteer trip, working in schools, teaching English to elementary students.
The 4H Interact Club is the result of a unique partnership of two organizations with a common goal for their youth - to provide opportunities to learn and to serve the community. These Interactors are from different schools, and work mainly on 4H projects in the busy fall months. They meet weekly at Fairmount Homes where they enjoy the company of the senior residents, planting gardens and doing crafts. They also organize an annual blood donor clinic, deliver Christmas baskets, and sell hundreds of our Rotary calendars!
Leahurst Interact Club was formed in 2017. Within two months, the club raised $2595 for Easter Seals. The club looked for service opportunities and identified needs in the community. Leahurst Interact members reached out to help with initiatives such as collecting food for the food bank, and assisting Syrian refugee families in Kingston. Leahurst Interact Club made several posters to expand awareness and knowledge of Polio. Then the club had a bake sale, raising over $400 for Rotary's polio eradication campaign: End Polio Now. The Interactors had a strategic planning retreat to decide where to focus their energies, and to plan their service projects for the school year. They are dedicated to fundraising, volunteering, and supporting the global and local community.
September: Adventure in the Environment is a four-day adventure in environmental science and field biology sponsored by the Rotary Club of Cornwall Sunrise. With a maximum of 8 students in the program, the participants have the unique opportunity of working with the scientists of the St Lawrence River Institute for Environmental Sciences in Cornwall, Ontario. Activities may include fish identification and measurement, a visit to an old-growth forest, turtle identification, a study of invertebrates at Cooper Marsh, a session at the eel ladder at the Hydro Ontario Moses Saunders Dam, and a visit to the Laflѐche bat caves north of Gatineau. More info>>
September-October: Adventures in History hosted by the Rotary Club of Kingston and Rotary Club of Cataraqui-Kingston. This program immerses high school students in what makes history important for today and how it is kept alive. The theme is Youth Justice: Then and Now. Students will investigate changes in youth justice over time and consider how youth justice might be handled in the future. A tour of the Kingston penitentiary, an improbable escape from Murney Tower and a visit to the Kingston Police station are but some of the interesting activities planned for the four-day adventure. More info>>
October: Adventure in High Tech hosted by the Rotary Club of Kanata. It is open to students who are in Grade 11 or 12 with a background in Computer Studies courses and show a high interest in working eventually in high tech employment. Selected students will visit the high-tech industries in the Ottawa region and visit university research centres. Applications should be received prior to September 20. More info>>
May: Adventure in Citizenship hosted by the Rotary Club of Ottawa. (Ages 16-19) Over 200 outstanding senior high school students from across Canada spend four days in the National Capital in a program designed to develop their potential as leaders in their communities and in Canadian society. This annual event provides a unique opportunity for a selected group of young Canadians to come together to gain a better understanding of our country. Through meetings with political leaders, senior officials and others, they learn a great deal about the workings of our democratic institutions. Through meeting one another and having discussions among themselves, they learn to appreciate the diversity of Canada and the privileges and responsibilities of Canadian citizenship. Applications should be received prior to Thanksgiving of the year prior.
June: Rotary Youth Leadership Academy [RYLA], sponsored by the Rotary Clubs of Kingston, Frontenac & Napanee at St. Lawrence College. Rotary Youth Leadership Academy (RYLA) is a unique opportunity for high school students to gain insight and knowledge in life and leadership skills. The academy features guest leaders, small group problem solving and self reflection which lead to enhanced leadership skills. Based on their academy experience, many graduates change their career objectives or educational plans.
District 7040 Rotary Clubs sponsor one to three students (ages 15-17) to attend this Youth Leadership Academy that gives them a memorable and potentially life-changing experience.
For more information, please contact Paul Elsley.
The Rotary Club of Kingston's Vocational Committee works with Queen's Rotaract Students to create mentorship opportunities between students and Rotarians.
In the past, our club worked with teachers in the Limestone District School Board to help raise awareness about the multitude of career opportunities available for young people. Members of the club conducted presentations in grade 10 Careers classrooms to help students understand that there are different types of pathways to follow. Our membership is diverse with dozens of types of classifications; it is our goal to introduce specialties that the youth may not have ever considered.