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
Watch videos about our Ethics Symposium: Ethics Symposium Information for Schools and Ethics Symposium Information for Rotarian Volunteer.
Youth Awards Program
Our annual Youth Awards Program recognizes 48 Madison 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 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 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 25 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 high school guidance counselors. Check with your school’s counselor today.
Click to watch a video on how scholars are selected.
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.
Participate in our Club’s Rotary Youth Exchange Program
Our Rotary Youth Exchange Committee is building a list of possible future host families. This resource will help our club determine the interest in continuing to support Youth Exchange within our club and across District 6250.
How can you help?
- If you would consider hosting an exchange student in the future, let the Rotary office know so we can add your name to our list of “Possible Host Families.” This in no way commits you to hosting. Our committee will reach out to those on the list as we plan for our inbound student(s) to see if your family is in a position to host.
- Do you have a friend who would be interested in hosting? Ask if we can add their family to the list of possibilities for the future.
By hosting a Rotary Youth Exchange student in your home, you’ll make a young person’s dream come true, and you and your family will share an unforgettable and fulfilling experience.
Answers to Common Questions on Rotary Host Families:
- Any caring and responsible family with an interest in hosting a young person from another land can be a tremendous host family! The best host families don’t fall into any one, easy-to-define category.
- Families do not need to be affiliated with Rotary to host Rotary Youth Exchange Students.
- Families with small children make great host families because young children get the experience of having a big brother or sister and the exchange students often enjoy the relaxed atmosphere of practicing their language skills with a younger child.
- “Empty Nesters” or retired couples are good too because they can have more time to spend with their student than younger parents do, and they often enjoy having a young person around the house.
- Families with high school age children are good because host brothers and sisters can quickly get the student involved in school and community activities.
- Exchange students have on average 3 host families, living with each host family for approximately 4 months.
Contact our Rotary office to let us know of your interest.
Click for more information from our Rotary District 6250.
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.
Click for more information.
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.