Rotaract meeting spotlights feats, fun
Canadian Rotaractors celebrate during the 2009 Rotaract preconvention meeting in Birmingham, England. Next year's preconvention meeting is in Montréal, Québec, Canada. Rotary Images/Monika Lozinska-Lee
New Generations Month and the annual Rotaract Preconvention Meeting are the best opportunities for Rotaractors to shine and show Rotary the value they can add to the organization, says 28-year-old Rotaractor Lisa Hunter.
"It's a time for us to prove ourselves as Rotarians for the future," says Hunter, president of the Rotaract Club of Maidenhead, Berkshire, England. "After all, the youth of today are the leaders of tomorrow."
To celebrate New Generations Month, the Maidenhead club has planned activities to highlight its work throughout September. Club members will also visit Rotary clubs in the area to discuss current projects and to forge potential partnerships.
"This month is a time for all youth programs to work together with their local Rotary clubs to serve their local communities and support young people in their area," says Hunter.
She also promotes the Rotaract Preconvention Meeting.
"It's something I never miss," says Hunter, who was chair of the social committee for the 2009 preconvention meeting in Birmingham. "There are so many things that make attending the preconvention appealing."
The meeting helps Rotaractors learn about inspiring projects, experience the internationality of Rotary, and network. But even more important, she says, it's just plain fun.
"Outside of the preconvention sessions, the local Rotaractors always organize a great social event program," says Hunter. "It's where you make lifelong friends from all corners of the world."
Dong-Joon Lee, chair of the RI Rotaract Committee, says the meeting "is truly an international event and an ideal platform for us to share ideas about service projects." The past governor of District 7230 (Bermuda; parts of New York, USA) says active participation is what makes Rotaract the dynamic and energetic organization it is now.
Lee praises the hard work of Hunter and other 2009 social committee members for the success of last year's event.
"Having seen the enthusiasm during the 2009 preconvention, I feel energized and excited about this year's preconvention in Montréal," says Lee.
Hunter says joining her Rotaract club in 2000 has had an enormous impact on her life. She gained confidence and learned skills that have helped her succeed in the business world.
"It's not just to meet new people, but to also better communities locally and internationally," she says. "Rotaract has given me the opportunity to know what I do really does make a difference in people's lives. There is no better feeling in the world."
This is the second in a series of articles about Rotary youth programs for New Generations Month.