The Meredith Rotary Club supports several youth-oriented programs:
The Youth Exchange Program:
Annually, 8,000 students from more than 80 countries take part in the Rotary Youth Exchange Program worldwide. This program offers 3 distinct opportunities. They are Long Term Exchange, Short Term Exchange, and being a youth exchange host family. Extensive information about all aspects of the Rotary Youth Exchange Program can also be found here.
The long-term exchange program provides an opportunity to spend an academic year abroad. This is a phenomenal cultural immersion program that Rotary offers. Students who participate in the program describe it not as a year in their lifetime but a lifetime in a year. The Meredith Rotary Club typically sponsors up to 2 students to participate in this program each academic year. To qualify, a student should be between the ages of 15 and 18 1/2, in the upper-third of his or her academic classes, of good character, emotionally stable, and in good physical condition. Most importantly, he or she must be able and willing to be a good ambassador. We typically send students during their Junior year or during their “gap” year between high school graduation and their first year of college. Gap year students must be 18 ½ or less by August 1 of their exchange year. About 9 countries accept post graduates compared to about 40 countries for juniors. Students interested in applying for an exchange during their Junior year or gap year, should indicate their interest by no later than April 30th of their Freshman year or Junior year, respectively. They have a full year of orientation prior to going out on exchange and a tremendous support system provided by Rotary. The student, or the student's family, is expected to pay travel and insurance costs, as well as provide some spending and emergency money. The total cost is typically $3,800 to $5,400, but could range up to $8,000, depending on airfare and the cost of Rotary sponsored events in a particular country. Scholarships are available, on a financial need basis, for students who are highly qualified for the program. The host Rotary club and family provide room, board, and schooling.
The Rotary Youth Exchange program also brings young people to the Meredith area from all over the world to learn about the United States, promote understanding of different cultures, and study in a new environment. The Meredith Rotary Club hosts up to 2 students each academic year. Students typically live with two different host families during their 10-month stay and attend Inter-Lakes High School or Moultonborough Academy. While the foreign students are enriched by this experience, hosting a Rotary Youth Exchange Student will enrich the lives of you and everyone else in your family, in ways that you cannot even imagine. It is no surprise that we have had a number of repeat host families. For every student we send on long term exchange, we must host a student. Therefore, we hope that families of students selected for the long-term program are willing to host a student for ½ of a year, if at all possible, either during the time the student is on exchange, or the year before or after the student goes on exchange.
The short-term exchange program, is a cultural exposure program that is conducted during the summer. Over twenty countries participate in this exchange program. Applicants for this program are matched with another student in the country of their choice, and then the families work out visitation details and dates. The typical amount of time each student spends visiting the other one is 3 weeks. The typical exchange costs are under $300 application costs plus the cost of round-trip airfare from your home to the foreign country and passport fee and visa fee (if necessary). Students interested in participating in this program should indicate their interest by January 1st of the year they wish to participate.
For more information about being a long term or short term Rotary Youth Exchange student or host family or to express interest in the program, please contact Dean Gulezian at H: 603-677-7172 C: 631-235-8654 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Four-Way Test:
The Four-Way Test was conceived in 1932 by Herbert J. Taylor, a member of the Rotary Club of Chicago and a businessman who served as Rotary International President in 1954-1955. Having taken on the task of saving a company from bankruptcy, Taylor developed the test as an ethical guide to follow in all business matters. The company's survival was credited to this simple philosophy. Adopted by Rotary International in 1934, The Four-Way test remains an essential standard against which Rotarians measure ethical behavior. It has been translated into dozens of languages and promoted by Rotarians worldwide.
The Four-Way Test is part of the Rotary framework that helps to guide Rotarians in their professional and personal lives.
What is the Four-Way Test? Of the things we think, say or do:
1. Is the the TRUTH?
2. Is it FAIR to all concerned?
3. Will it build GOOD WILL and BETTER FRIENDSHIPS?
4. Will it be BENEFICIAL to all concerned?
Each year, the Four-Way Test Committee meets with local school guidance counselors, public speaking teachers, etc., to recruit student candidates to participate in the Test. The purpose of the test is to address an ethical problem using the four points. There are no restrictions regarding the topic, but students are encouraged to share life experiences. The candidates prepare a five minute speech that is presented at a regular Wednesday Rotary meeting where they are judged by members of the club using rules and regulations outlined by Rotary International. Cash prizes are awarded to the winners. The first-place winner will then be entered into the Regional contest, and winners of the Regional contests then compete at the District level, with final presentations made at the annual District Conference.
The Interact Club:
The Meredith Rotary Club sponsors the Interact Club of Interlakes High School. An Interact Club is a Rotary Club-sponsored organization of young people, ages 12 to 18, whose purpose is to provide opportunity for them to work together in a world fellowship dedicated to service and international understanding and leadership development skills. The Interact Club of Interlakes High School was established in February 2015 with 27 members from grades 9 through 12. Club meetings are held twice a month at Interlakes High School where the members discuss and plan their service activities such as sponsoring an annual school clubs fair, battle of the grades canned food drive, funding wheel chairs for those who cannot afford to buy one, Cancer Walk-A-Thon, "Soxtober" battle of the grades (collecting socks for charity), visits to a local Veterans Homes, maintaining the Center Harbor Congregational Church's garden, and supporting The Meredith Rotary Club's Great Ice Fishing Derby in February. In 2017, a bob house was donated for the Interact Club to raffle during the Ice Fishing Derby. The students sold 1,000 raffle tickets along with custom coffee mugs and maple syrup from a local farm.