Posted by Jennette Bill
Special Greetings from your District 5495 Youth Services!!!!
We are SO excited to be talking to you about our district 5495 Youth Services…THE BEST YOU WILL FIND ANYWHERE!!!  It’s time to let you know what is happening within your district so that you can brag about it AND help with an area of passion and/or support financially.  Don’t hesitate to reach out to any of us if you want to get involved in any way.  We are YOUR pipelines to tons of GREAT kids!!!!
 So, what are our district’s Youth Services?
Interact Club:  Incredibly, we have a record 88 high school involved Interact Clubs and 17 middle school or junior high student involved clubs (some are combinations) for a total of around 2750 students who receive incredible leadership training, do tons of community service as they learn to be great Rotarians, and support their International service project Crutches to Africa.  We are very excited to announce that, starting this next year, for the first time the program will send a group of Interators to central Mexico!
Check out the web site! It’s very exciting!  Help by volunteering to be a Rotarian co-advisor for your club’s Interact Club or get a club started at your local middle school, junior or senior high school.
You may contact Chair Art Harrington at 928-245-0411 or 
Please continue reading!!
RYLA Pinerock (Prescott, Jan 17-20, 2020): Our RYLA programs provide “aha!” and life changing opportunities for kids who didn’t know they were leaders or who are leaders and are given tools to be even better.  See the great, high-energy video about RYLA to catch the spirit! 
One of the activities at the action packed weekend that provides the opportunity to LEARN the concept of SERVICE ABOVE SELF is hands-on meal packing with Manzanita Outreach Program.  Last year was the 7thth year that RYLA students packed meals and all 75,000 meals they packed were distributed to Arizona communities for people in need. The necessary raw supplies for this service project have been funded with tax credit and other donations from generous Rotarians.  You can help by making your online donation at ( 
Please contact Chair Tammy Sabinsky at 623-640-0838 or
RYLA Ponderosa (Near Heber, April 2-5, 2020): We have 1 program and 2 RYLA camps for optimal opportunity.  RYLA Ponderosa provides all the same great programming as RYLA Pinerock for growth and learning about leadership, Rotary, Interact, and our exchange programs. 
Please contact Chair Sherry Mischel at 602-510-3339 or 
Junior RYLA: (Prescott, June 17-20, 2020) This RYLA for 100 middle school or junior high students will be the first for our district!!!  How great is that! As our junior high Interact Clubs have grown, so has the call for specific leadership training and planting seeds for involvement in Youth Exchange and other youth activities.  
Please contact Chair Ken Kelley at 623-221-1956 or 
Full year International Youth Exchange Program:  This is an incredible opportunity for our adventuresome youth who spent a whole school year immersing themselves in another culture and language. Truly life-changing! While our student is abroad having an experience of a lifetime, a foreign student is spreading good will and friendship from their country at our schools and amongst our Rotary involved students.  
Please help us find adventuresome, ambassadorial students for the 2020/21 and 2021/22 school years.    Our numbers are down and we want to share this awesome experience with as many students as we can! 
Check out the video and lots of information on the web site: or contact Donna for a program for your club!
You may contact Chair Donna Goetzenberger at 602-469-1293 or )
Summer Reciprocal Exchange Program: In this program, 2 matched students from different countries spend the summer together, first in one country and then the other.  It offers a fabulous experience for those who want to give the exchange adventure a try or who can’t do a full year exchange.  Share this opportunity with any young people you know!
Please contact Exchange Program Chair: Donna Goetzenberger (info above).  NOTE:  looking for a coordinator and committee to expand this fabulous program which is in its 5th year but has mostly just serviced kids who go to RYLA.
***Promote RYLA Pinerock:  The application process is open now at until Oct. 31.  Last year our RYLA camps were well short of capacity.  This year’s goal is to FILL THE FABULOUS RYLA CAMPS!!!  If you already sponsor one or more kids for our RYLA camps, thank you!!!  If you don’t participate, now is the time!  Sponsor a student at $400 or simply make a donation.  Be part of something GREAT!  Contact Tammy to find out how.
 Don’t have any kids who apply?  Here are some ideas: Try contacting your high school counselors or principals.  If they don’t already know about RYLA, share your enthusiasm.  Ask that they reach out to their faculty and staff to “invite” kids to apply who maybe don’t see themselves as leaders but they have that special potential.  Handing a kid an invitation in writing is best.  Send an email and I’ll send you a sample of what this can look like
Can’t find kids to send?  Please sponsor other kids.  Help us with the call to action:  FILL THE FABULOUS RYLA CAMPS!
***Find applicants for going on Youth Exchange for the 2020/2021 and 2021/22 school years: The deadline for accepting applications has been extended to allow for more full year exchange student applicants for the 2020/21 school year.  Our goal is to have more students than in the past experience this incredible adventure and further our Rotary mission of connecting the world.  Ask your high school counselors if they know of adventuresome, bright kids who would make phenomenal international ambassadors and ask that they plant a seed by giving them a Youth Exchange brochure.  Look around:  what friends, neighbors, acquaintances do you and your club members have who would fit this profile?  Contact Donna for a copy of the informational brochure.
***Support our new Junior RYLA Make a donation of any size to seed this program which will be self sustaining after this first year.  Help it to get a great start!
Point of Interest: few of our district’s Rotarians give to the tax credit programs that benefit Rotary programs.
***Promote that EVERY ROTARIAN give to the tax credit programs that benefit our Rotary programs:  Rotarians have 2 choices:
•  Give to the Manzanita Project that provides the supplies for our RYLA kids to pack nutritious meals for the Arizona food insecure when at camp. Make your online donation at (
•  Give to the TRVFA program that provides vocational scholarships.  Print the form at:
***Involve your fellow club members! Share this communication with a happy dollar at your meeting and share your excitement so others read it! We want every Rotarian to be bragging about the over-the-top programs that we offer our youth.  Our programs are stellar!  Cutting edge! 
***VOLUNTEER:  We have openings on every committee for volunteers who love youth and want to get involved.  If you or someone in your club is interested, step up!  CALL OR EMAIL AND MAKE SOMEONE’S DAY! 
Point of Interest:  Rotarian district dues DO NOT fund these district youth services programs.  Our participating Rotary clubs (THANK YOU!) and participating students keep our programs afloat.  Thank you for taking the time to become aware of this and, if you don't already, support the future of Arizona kids!
I would love to hear from you.  Please call or email if you have ideas, questions, need more information, or want to give feedback. 
Jennette Bill, District 5495 Youth Services Chair
P.S.  A BIG SHOUTOUTof appreciation for those who already work so enthusiastically and tirelessly (and play and have fun, too!) making these programs so, so AWESOME as we grow future Rotarian leaders!!!  You are APPRECIATED!!!