Linking New Generations programs keeps participants on track to becoming Rotarians
Rotaractors Susanne Senta Felicitas Schwartz, Axel Klein, Felix Heintz and Clemens Witt meet up at the 2011 RI Convention in New Orleans, Louisiana, USA. Rotary Images/Monika Lozinska-Lee
A mentoring program in District 5160 (California, USA) helps incoming college freshmen – particularly those who are Interact alumni – get connected with university-based Rotaractors. It’s just one example of the efforts undertaken by many districts to keep Interactors, Rotaractors, RYLArians, and Rotary Youth Exchange participants in the fold – and on track to become Rotarians.
“It’s important to recapture people who fall through the holes, such as an Interactor who graduates from high school, moves away to college, and has trouble finding a Rotaract club,” says Joanna Kwong, Rotaract District 5160 representative. “We often refer alumni or recent graduates to the next relevant program. Interactors pool from RYLA and Youth Exchange, and Rotaractors seek membership from former Interactors.”
Jim Cambier, past president of the Rotary Club of Danville, California, says that building relationships between New Generations programs is the first step toward ensuring successful transitions.
“Whether it’s Interact, Rotaract, RYLA, or Youth Exchange, it’s important to let everyone know that these programs all flow together,” says Cambier. “When they see the whole connection, they can really understand just how multifaceted New Generations Service is.”
To make the transitions seamless, District 5160 is also setting up a district alumni database to track Interactors and Rotaractors in order to link them with a New Generations group, whether within or outside the district.
Here’s what other districts are doing to cross-promote New Generations programs:
- Rob Newman, Rotary Youth Exchange chair for District 7450 (Pennsylvania), arranged a day of international exchange to forge a connection between the Rotaract Club of Philadelphia and Youth Exchange students.
- Alana Wilson, president of the Rotaract Club of Gunargarang, New South Wales, Australia, and a former Youth Exchange student, attended RYLA seminars in her district after she joined Rotaract. She says having someone already involved in New Generations reach out to potential participants helps bridge the gaps between programs.
- Mat Matson, RYLA chair for District 5450 (Colorado), says his district always includes a presentation on Interact at its RYLA conferences. He notes that most of the 29 Interact clubs in the district were started by former RYLA participants.
For more ideas on cross-promoting New Generations programs, download An Introduction to New Generations Service.