Bemidji Rotary Club Looks to Revive Youth Exchange Program
Bemidji Rotarians are looking to revive a popular program that died out due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Rotary Youth Exchange program is similar to study abroad in schools but looks to expand outside the classroom. Matthew Fahrenbruch brought up the idea to revive the program to the local club. By recruiting people who have experience or show interest in the program, a committee was formed.
One person on this committee is Nicole Ronchetti. During her junior year in high school, her family hosted a Danish student through the Youth Exchange program. This experience left a positive impact on Ronchetti, leading to her wanting to breathe new life into the Bemidji program.
Currently, the Rotary Club is looking for volunteer host families for the 2023-2024 school year. Families will be expected to provide necessities like a room, three meals a day, and a supportive environment for the exchange student. The exchange student will receive a monthly stipend as well.
This program is viewed as a cultural exchange not only for the student, but the host family as well. The program serves both ingoing and outgoing students. The Bemidji Rotary Club currently has an outgoing student headed to Taiwan next year.
Candidates for the program must for 15- to 19-years-old and show leadership in their schools and community.
More information can be found at Bemidji Rotary’s website or by emailing BemidjiRotaryExchange@gmail.com.
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