October 2018:
One of Rotary’s most successful programs is the Youth Exchange Scholarship Program (YESP).  Through several decades, many other Rotary initiatives have come and gone, but YESP has only grown stronger and more popular since 1929:  Over 9,000 students participated in YESP last year.  YESP alumni occupy leadership positions in many organizations, including the United Nations and stellar educational institutions.  Two of the RI Convention Speakers in Toronto this year were YESP alumni!
 
Two unique aspects of YESP merit emphasis: first, it is available to everyone irrespective of economic, ethnic, or social background.  And second, unlike some other Rotary programs, YESP is open to Rotarians and their children/grandchildren. YESP’s Short-Term Program - where families exchange visits between teenagers of the same age for three (3) to eight (8) weeks - is extremely popular.  The Long-Term Program involves a year of schooling abroad, and the preferred choice for students seriously interested in understanding another culture.  For details of both programs see www.exchangestudent.org and https://www.rotary.org/en/our-programs/youth-exchanges. 
 
November 1 is the deadline for applications for the Long Term Program for the next academic year. You’ll readily see why YESP, a phenomenal - often, life-changing - opportunity for High School students, is so successful.  After living in a different country, with people who look different, speak different, and have a different lifestyle - YESP participants appreciate cultural differences, widen their horizons, and develop lifelong international friendships while enhancing career prospects by becoming fluent in another language and developing self-confidence.  And often mature into global leaders advancing peace. 
 
The District is part of ESSEX (Eastern Seaboard Student Exchange), a consortium of 35 Districts. We can send students to, and receive students from, 40 different countries all over the world.  But this is possible only by Rotarians living their ideals as concerned global citizens who consider youth education and international peace one of the most important things we can advance. You and I owe it to the younger generation in our District, to give them this life-changing opportunity, and enable them to become tomorrow's leaders of the world.  If you believe - as I do - that this is one of the most important things we can do, and would like to volunteer in any capacity (hosting, counseling, screening, etc.) email me at kchittur@post.harvard.edu.
 
Rtn. Krishnan Chittur
District Governor 
District 7230
(Westchester, Bronx, Manhattan, Staten Island, and Bermuda)