Uniting the world by taking action begins with our youth. Rotary youth programs are developing the next generation of leaders, helping them gain skills to make the world a better place and form lasting friendships along the way.
Rotary Ethics Symposium
Our club’s signature youth program, the Rotary Ethics Symposium, is held annually each February with over 200 juniors from 20 Dane County high schools. The symposium fosters a more thoughtful community with concern for the ethical dimensions of everyday life. By engaging participants in personal decision-making, the symposium fosters an appreciation for the ethical dimensions of their lives.
The Rotary framework for ethical decision-making:
Recognize an ethical issue
Obtain information about the situation
Test alternative actions
Reflect on your decision after acting
Yield on your ethical judgments
Youth Awards Program
Our annual Youth Awards Program recognizes 48 Madison-area high school students for their outstanding accomplishments. Memorializing Rotarian Paul “Brud” Hunter for his lifetime of service to Rotary and to youth, over $25,000 is awarded each year. The program includes a Meade Community Service Award as well as sophomore academic improvement awards generously funded by Mike & Patty Wilson.
Applications for the Youth Awards are available through participating Madison-area high school guidance counselors. Check with your school’s counselor today.
Four-Year College Scholarship Program
Over $350,000 is distributed annually in four-year college scholarship assistance through 15 named funds within the Madison Rotary Foundation. Participating Madison-area high schools submit candidate names from which our Youth Scholarship Committee grants awards based on the direction established by the 15 fund donors. Additionally, nearly every scholar will have a Rotary mentor who stays connected with them throughout their college years.
The twenty-seven students who are awarded scholarships each year meet these general eligibility requirements:
- Demonstrate financial need
- Achieve a 3.0 and/or acceptance to an accredited four-year college or university
- Display outstanding character and leadership
- Have shown a deep sense of obligation to the community
Applications for the College Scholarship Program are available through participating Madison-area high school guidance counselors. Check with your school’s counselor today.
Rotary Youth Exchange Program
Building lasting friendships and peace one youth at a time. Rotary Youth Exchanges are for students 15 to 19 years old and are sponsored by Rotary clubs in more than 100 countries. Exchange students learn a new language, engage in another culture, and truly become global citizens.
Service starts young. Interact is Rotary International’s service club for young people ages 12 to 18. Interact clubs are sponsored by individual Rotary clubs, which provide support and guidance, but they are self-governing and self-supporting.
The Rotary Club of Madison currently has Interact clubs at Memorial and East High schools.
District 6250 Leadership Training: RYLA
Leaders in the making will enjoy this camp. Rotary Youth Leadership Awards (RYLA) is Rotary’s leadership training program for young people. Rotary District 6250 offers a RYLA camp that is designed to build future leaders, life-long friendships, and Rotarians who personify Rotary’s Four-Way Test:
- Is it the TRUTH?
- Is it FAIR to all concerned?
- Will it build GOODWILL and BETTER FRIENDSHIPS?
- Will it be BENEFICIAL to all concerned?
The camp is held in Wisconsin Dells each May, and schools typically submit recommendations for students to attend.