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ROTARY CLUB OF
|Foundation Chair||Rick Doyle|
|Membership Chair||Adam Bowling|
On behalf of the Rotary Club of Sandy Springs, I welcome you to visit our club and experience the Rotary Club of Sandy Springs' hospitality and energy. We meet on Monday for lunch at 12:15 p.m. to 1:15 p.m. at the Hilton Perimeter Suites, 6120 Peachtree Dunwoody Road, Sandy Springs, GA 30328. You can reserve a spot by going to our website at www.sandyspringsrotary.org. Join your fellow professionals, and community and business leaders, and learn how Rotary can fit in your future. Experience Rotary Making A Difference!
For this week only, we will be starting our meeting at 12:00 instead of the usual 12:15. Please keep this in mind as you plan your Monday.
Alex Flanagan seen below with his parents is our Rotary Youth Exchange student just before leaving to study in Japan. This Monday, January 7th we'll get all the news and updates about his adventures.
Kate Rojales pictured below visits the Pyramids of Teotihuacan, an ancient Mesoamerican city and one of the most popular attractions in Mexico. She is our second presenter and sure bring a ton excitement to her presentation.
The following article by Carson Cook was clipped from the Alpharetta Roswell Herald web site.
ALPHARETTA, Ga. — Alpharetta native Kate Rojales’s life was changed when she spent a gap year studying abroad in Puebla, Mexico thanks to a Rotary Club scholarship.
“I will never be the same again, and part of my heart will always be in my second home,” Rojales said.
The Rotary Youth Exchange program began in 1929, but Rojales was part of the inaugural class from Georgia. The 2017 to 2018 school year saw nine Georgians visit abroad and six inbound students attending local high schools.
Over the course of the academic year, exchange students attended local schools and lived with host families. The program is aimed at students 15 to 19 years old and is a great way to gain independence before starting college, Rojales said.
“I think we get a deeper understanding of who we are, because we remove ourselves from our family, our culture, our school, our community. All of that changes, and we can see who we are, who we stand for, who we want to be,” she said.
Rotary District 6900, which includes Fulton County, exchanges with about 30 countries in Latin America, Europe and Asia. The Rotarians choose where to send students based on their preferences.
“I was very fortunate to go to one of my top countries,” Rojales said.
In addition to the confidence, maturity and perseverance she gained through the program, Rojales said one of the main benefits was the opportunity to meet people from around the world and develop her language skills.
“One of the primary reasons I applied for the program was I had studied Spanish for nine years, but was conversant, not fluent. I was really trying to be fluent in Spanish and thought immersion would be perfect, and it was. I became fully fluent in Spanish,” she said.
Rojales said students don’t necessarily need to know the language of their host country when they begin the program, but they will definitely develop those skills during their stay.
Youth exchange participants stay with a host family, typically three different homes over the year.
“I think it’s great because we get to know other sides of a culture and different lifestyles within our one year studying abroad,” Rojales said.
During her stay, Rojales unlearned some of the preconceptions she had about Mexico. She previously associated the country with warm beaches, but her host city of Puebla is nestled in the cooler central highlands.
“I learned about Cinco de Mayo and Day of the Dead and traditional foods, but getting to live there I realized that culture is so much more than just history, language, food, traditions. It’s really how people think and feel as a country,” Rojales said.
Rojales said one stereotype she found exaggerated was that Mexicans are always late. While this is sometimes true, the stereotype persists because Mexican culture puts greater value on living in the moment and quality time with friends and family, Rojales said.
“The importance on relationships and family, that value is something I definitely am trying to incorporate into my life back in the U.S.,” she said.
Moving to another country for a year was hard at times, especially for her family back home.
“I know they missed me so much because they had to look at my empty chair at the dinner table, walk by my empty room, but they still knew it was an amazing opportunity,” Rojales said.
The Rotary Youth Exchange program covers room, board, tuition and language training for accepted students, with individuals and their families only responsible for airfare, travel insurance, travel documents and spending money.
The program has an estimated $24,000 value that cost Rojales’s family only about $5,500. She is headed off to her first year at Baylor University this fall, but she wants to share this opportunity with other students before she goes.
The selection process includes an online application, school recommendation and extensive interviews. Students usually know if they are accepted by early December.
The deadline to apply for the program is Nov. 1, but interested students first need to attend an information session along with a parent or guardian.
District 6900 will hold information sessions from 6:30 to 8 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 16 at Emory University conference room 5-C, 1599 Clifton Road, and Wednesday, Aug. 22 at Two Perimeter Plaza 2nd floor conference center, 5607 Glenridge Dr.
More information about the program can be found at ryeflorida.org/district-6900.
Monday, December 17th Steve Rose engaged us all in a hilarious satire that had the entire room filled with laughter. He is not a comedian, however. He has instead spent his career in law enforcement. How unlikely is it that he could derive a such a prodigious sense of humor from such a serious and hazardous milieu?
Inspired by the Adam 12 series which was televised for 7 years starting in 1975, Steve said he connected the characters and the responsibly of police officers in that series. At that time, he decided to devote his life to a career of protection and service by becoming a police officer.
Having begun his career in a small town, Steve opened his 15 minute monologue with this statement: “In a small town, you have small town characters.” Without pause and with slight melancholy in his voice he reiterated just how small the town really was: “Chamblee, a one-horse town with three cars.”
While speaking of small towns and the characters within them, he fondly told us of the misadventures of Red Bill. Red Bill was as colorful as his name implies. Steve would often become entangled in one of Red Bill’s amusing and bazaar adventures when a call would come in from dispatch:
“Radio to 172, Red Bill is on fire and running down Pearl Lane.”
“Radio to 172, Red Bill is dragging Loretta [his wife] up road behind his car.”
If you are hoping that the dispatcher was using hyperbole, you would be wrong. The stories of Red Bill were the stuff of a Dicken’s novel.
All his stories were not funny, however. He did spend a few moments to share important information on more serious topics. He warned us that night time is usually when you needed to be most cautious. “Nothing good happens after mid-night.”, he noted and continued to offer more advice to enhance personal safety. Steve especially thought it important for everyone to know self-defense tactics and views gun ownership as an option to be considered.
While relating a story of nearly being car jacked late one night, he made note that the only reason his car wasn’t stolen that occasion was because he was better armed than the assailant. He was carrying his gun even though he was off duty.
He brought up the topic of theft by breaking into cars and noted that it is on the rise especially in Sandy Springs. Don’t leave anything in your car.
On the topic of home invasion, he reminded us that: “It is better to be judged by 12 than to be carried by six.” – “Defend yourself.”, he said again and again. To drive home that point he added: “Once you get a gun, don’t worry so much about practicing at longer distances.” He noted that most robberies and confrontations with the criminal element are likely to be close quarters, within 3 feet or even less. He gave a slight pause then for the gravity of that statement weigh in properly.
If you didn’t get a chance to see and meet him, you can still get a dose of his humor and safety tips by reading the Police Blotter articles he writes for the Sandy Springs Reporter Newspapers.
Wishing you all a very merry and bright new year. Let's recommit ourselves to the Rotary spirit and be sure that in 2019 we are faithful to our four way test in everything we do.
Of the things we think, say or do:
1. Is it the TRUTH?
2. Is it FAIR to all concerned?
3. Will it build GOODWILL and BETTER FRIENDSHIPS?
4. Will it be BENEFICIAL to all concerned?
Rotary Club of Sandy Springs Greeters & Invocation leader for next meeting. (1/7/2019)
Invocators, as per the "Make it fun and they will come." theme, have a joke ready!
PLEASE REMEMBER THIS WEEK'S MEETING STARTS AT 12:00 INSTEAD OF 12:15.