Our mission is to provide leadership development opportunities while engaging youth in Rotary’s motto, Service Above Self, both locally and internationally.
The Youth Engaged in Service Program (YES) provides unique local and international service opportunities to high school Junior—Grade 11– students. YES touches many lives. Local community organizations receive hundreds of volunteer hours as each student commits to a minimum of eighty hours of meaningful service during the school year. Villagers at international service sites are provided with much needed assistance and develop positive relationships with Americans and Canadians. Students experience a culture quite unlike their own causing them to reevaluate their priorities and goals. Rotarians become more enthusiastic about fundraising when they learn of the significant impact of their efforts.
Local Volunteer Service
Students are exposed to the needs of their community that they can meet right now and in the future.
- Students contribute a minimum of 80 hours of volunteer service within their local community, spread evenly over the school year from October through May.
- Half of these hours are at one site to develop deeper relationships and to have a significant impact as relied upon volunteers.
Students meet monthly with Rotary mentors to:
- Build team cohesion and understanding of roles and responsibilities.
- Learn about Rotary’s goals and impact throughout the world.
- Provide opportunities for reflection upon their local service experiences.
- Learn leadership skills and build self-confidence; taking turns at facilitating meetings, presenting on volunteer experiences, and leading team ice-breaker activities.
- Become familiar with the culture and issues of the international site.
- Develop the work project and other activities.
The international trip provides an opportunity for students to experience making a difference through their time and labor and enhances relationships between cultures. YES selects its international sites based on the following criteria:
- The community is safe and can provide the group with adequate housing and food.
- There are specific teenage-appropriate tasks that can improve the quality of life of the people being served.
- There is a Rotary Club or NGO that can help coordinate the project in country.