Mission Statement
Our mission is to provide leadership development opportunities while engaging youth in Rotary’s motto, Service Above Self, both locally and internationally.
2019-20 YES Team members:
Back row L - R sponsoring Rotary club in bracket: Malakhi Stevenson (Burlington noon); Garris Cardona (Burlington); Abigail Schnabel (Fidalgo); Ann Cloonan (La Conner); Hunter Berard (La Conner).
Front row L-R: Lisa Omdal (Burlington); Anna Ray (Sedro Woolley); Abigail Hogge (Anacortes); Gabriella Snowman (Fidalgo); Megan McKenna (Anacortes).
The YES program is on hiatus for the 2021 - 22 school year. 
The YES committee has decided that the YES program will be postponed until the 2022 - 2023 school year. If you have applied or been accepted before Sept. 30. 2021 we will contact you. We will not accept new applications until the spring of 2022. 
All YES team members (students and adults) must be fully vaccinated for COVID -19 before before the first YES team meeting. Please bring your vaccination card to the first meeting. 
The YES program will adhere to all Washington State COVID-19 masking requirements. This means that if Washington State requires masks for YES activities, masks must be worn.
All YES team members and chaperones must be tested for COVID-19 72 hours before the international trip. The YES program will pay for these tests.  
The Rotary Youth Engaged in Service Program (YES) provides unique local and international service opportunities to 
grade 11 high school students.   
  • Local community organizations receive hundreds of volunteer hours as each student commits to a minimum of eighty hours of meaningful service during the school year. 
  • Villagers at international service sites are provided with much needed assistance and develop positive relationships with Americans and Canadians. 
  • Students experience a culture quite unlike their own, causing them to reevaluate their priorities and goals. 
  • Rotarians become more enthusiastic about fundraising when they learn of the significant impact of their efforts.
YES Program Announcement
High school students throughout Rotary District 5050 have the opportunity to experience the joy of serving others by volunteering in their local community and participating in an international humanitarian service project. Students attend monthly leadership training meetings and contribute 80 hours of local volunteer service during their Junior Year--Grade 11. Each student is responsible for $1,500 of the program cost. If you are interested in finding new meaning and direction for your life by assisting local community organizations, improving the conditions of the poorest of the poor in remote regions of the world, and are selected for a YES team, you agree to:
  1. Pay the program fee of $1,500. Rotary mentors assist in fundraising to meet this goal.
  2. Log in 80 hours of volunteer community service from October to May.
  3. Participate in a monthly team meeting, the weekend team building retreat, and the Rotary Youth Adventures in Leadership (YAIL) weekend.
  4. Assist with program fundraisers.
  5. Obtain a passport and recommended immunizations at your own expense.
  6. Bring enough money to pay for personal expenses such as some meals and souvenirs

The YES program is for high school juniors. We are not accepting any applications until the spring of 2022.  At that time students completing their sophomore year may apply

                                                                            For more information read this brochure. 
Cultural Awareness Through Volunteering
Before my high school career, I had never volunteered at a primary site, never had the notion to serve at a single institution, where I doubted the difference I could make and was daunted by the time commitment.  However, a shift occurred in me.  I realized the severity of my ignorance as I was accepted into the Youth Engaged in Service program, which taught me to think in terms of "service above self."
Volunteering has rendered me culturally aware and has allowed me to grow as a person, especially while volunteering at Skagit Literacy in Westview Elementary School.  There I assist children with homework and endeavor to instill in them a love of reading while developing their English.  The goal of Skagit Literacy is self-sufficiency, the ability to navigate the English-speaking United States, hardly a conciliatory nation.  It was imperative for me to pause and contemplate the question:  Am I self0sufficient?  The irony of the situation was degrading:  How could I teach self-sufficiency when I was not self-sufficient myself?  I'm embarrassngly poor with directions, my mother still makes me three hot meals a day, and I am utterly disorganized.  The children I tutor while their parents are taking English classes may fail in school, but can cook for themselves.  They have almost no awareness of the war waging in Iraq and Afghanistan or other foreign affirs but have already acquired street smarts and a fairly broad knowledge of the "cholos" who inflicdt local havoc.
We live in a world based entirely on perceptions, and volunteering allows us to surmount these social barriers and learn from one another:  I encourage wscholastic achievement and reading while they teach me their cultural perspective and flaunt their primary language.  Spanish, the language in which their fluency I envy.  
Volunteerism is the epitome of the human race's willingness to unite against adversity, to work not through self-interest, but for the bettement of the world, and to see our philanthropic labors come to fruition.  It is through volunteerism that I have realized our purpose.
I want to thank the Youth Engaged in Service program for the life experience it has given me, the realizations it has allowed me to come to, and the opportunities it has created.  I am so grateful for the discovery of transcendence and purpose in volunteering at a primary site, something I will continue throughout my life.
McKenzie Templeton