With professional poise and an attention-grabbing demeanor, Kate Rojales made her presentation memorable. Kate referred to her Rotary Youth Exchange Scholarship as “An Amazing Gift”. The challenges she faced over the last two years forced a lot of changing and growing. The transformation and development of social skills were two gifts that she enjoyed, but she thought perhaps the most important gift was a lesson that had to do with relationships and how to build them. She outlined 3 specific points that she strived to achieve with each host family and now with everyone she meets. Point 1: Be excepting, Point 2: Be authentic and vulnerable, Point 3: Be intentional. She built on each point giving real world examples.
In part two of the presentation Alex took over the microphone. Punctuating his presentation were two quotes that had profound meaning.
Quote one: ”You always want to be where your feet are.” – That’s a Rotary Youth Exchange idea that is encouraged as a reminder to stay focused in the present. It also helps keep the students from reflecting too much on how much they may miss their family and friends from home.
Quote two: “Teamwork makes the dream work.” – This was a Japanese saying that has been pressed into the fibers of his being. He made mention of the extreme competitiveness of the students and that it was a real culture shock. Speaking of culture shock, he spent several moments describing just how extremely crowed the streets could be in a major city of Japan.
These two exchange students are such a great example of what the Rotary Youth Exchange can do. Be assured fellow Rotarians that the money spent sponsoring these students is a wise investment.
Kate Rojales during her presentation
Alex and Kate taking questions after their presentations. Alex proudly wearing his Japanese school uniform.
Alex also proudly displaying his jacket denoting his travels, and experiences as a Rotary Youth Exchange Student.
A perennial topic in Japanese business etiquette is the exchange of business cards. Getting this right is a key step in expanding your business connections in Japan. Alex demonstrating an impromptu business card exchange with Takashi Shinozuka, Consul General of Japan in Atlanta.
Mike Parks, Chairman - Rotary Youth Exchange District 6900 Rotary Club of Dunwoody, Georgia, USA
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Left to right: Jim Squire, District 6900 Governor Elect, Kate Rojales, Alex Flanagan, Fred Ferrand, Mike Parks