Program Parameters


Letter from District 5050 YES Chairs,
Suzanne Radenkovic and Bernie Halliday:

Your Rotary Club is invited to join with us in providing a unique service opportunity to Junior–Grade 11– high school students. Rotary’s Fifth Avenue of Service, Youth Service, recognizes the positive change implemented by youth and young adults involved in leadership development activities, community and international service projects, and exchange programs that enrich and foster world peace and cultural understanding. The YES Program is a meaningful way for your Rotary Club and its members to contribute within this Avenue of Service.

It’s easy to become involved:

  1. Determine the number of students you want to sponsor.  The cost is $2,000 per student.
  • $1,000 is applied to the overall program cost of the student that includes program materials, the team building retreat, the Youth Adventures in Leadership weekend (YAIL), round-trip airfare to the international site and in-country transportation, emergency travel insurance, all lodging, and the majority of meals.
  • $1,000 is applied to the cost of the international service project materials.
  • Each YES team member is responsible for $1,500 for program and international service project costs. Fundraisers can help provide some of these funds.
  1. Distribute brochures at your local high school and direct students to this website to apply.  Those applications will be forwarded on to your Rotary Club designee.
  1. Meet with the applicants and select the students.
  1. Notify the YES Committee Chair of your selections and submit payment.
  1. Designate one of your members to serve on the District 5050 YES Committee that meets four times per year.

We will take it from there!

After an orientation session for the selected students and their parents held at the end of September, we meet with the students–usually on the first Sunday of each month–for leadership training, to research the international work projects, discuss ways for the students to raise their $1,500 program fee, and become familiar with Rotary.  Students are required to volunteer a minimum of 80 hours in their local community during the school year and are assisted in finding appropriate organizations in which to volunteer.  All YES students participate in Rotary's Youth Adventures in Leadership (YAIL) conference at no additional cost to their Rotary Club sponsor.

We often hear from the students about the tremendous impact volunteering locally and participating in an international humanitarian service project has had on them and how it has influenced their decisions about the future. The attached statement from one of the students is but one example.

We hope you will join with us.

Suzanne and Bernie

Suzanne Radenkovic and Bernie Halliday
District 5050 YES Chairs


Rotarians: the YES program needs your help!

The YES program needs District 50/50 Rotarians to participate in the YES committee. Some of the committee responsibilities are:


  • Solicit Rotary Club participation and provide application materials
  • Prepare team participant binders
  • Develop local meeting schedule & reserve meeting location
  • Coordinate General Orientation Meeting & Team Retreat
  • Work with student leaders to set meeting agendas
  • Communicate with team members throughout the year
  • Verify all required documents have been completed
  • Assist with fundraising, community service, and public relations
  • Chaperone the international trip
  • Communicate with international partner
  • Maintain independent YES Program bank account
  • Maintain financial records & reports
  • Submit monthly financial information to District 5050 YES Committee Treasurer
  • Register YES students for YAIL
  • Obtain airline reservations & travel insurance

Fundraising Facilitator:

  • Coordinate raffle and log student sales
  • Develop and oversee other fundraising events
  • Send charitable receipts to donors

One Student's Experience - McKenzie Templeton, YES Team 2011

Peace Arch Journal October, 2010, Page 5


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 self-sufficient? The irony of the situation was degrading: How could I teach self-sufficiency when I was not self-sufficient myself? I’m embarrassingly 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 affairs, but have already acquired street smarts, and a fairly broad knowledge of the “cholos” who inflict 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 scholastic achievement and reading, while they teach me their cultural perspective and flaunt their primary language, Spanish, the language in which their fluency I envy. Teaching facilitates the realization and wielding of a student’s abilities and the broadening of their minds. I have learned this process is reciprocal, for the teacher as well as the student. What I get in return from volunteering is not accumulating wealth that tends to appeal to our materialistic sensibilities, but life experience, growth, and pride in my service and improvement of society.

Volunteerism is the epitome of the human race’s willingness to unite against adversity, to work not through self-interest, but for the betterment 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 Experiencing 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

YES Team 2011