Y.E.S. - an exciting new
District 5050 Youth Program!


In 2008, Beverly Harrington, a member of the Rotary Club of Burlington, took three students at Burlington-Edison High School on an international service project.

The program expanded for the 2008-2009 school year to sponsor five high school juniors, and developed a strong relationship with Hands for Peacemaking based out of Everett, Washington, participating in Guatemala projects since June 2009.

In 2012, Y.E.S. became an international program with participants from the Rotary Club of Haney, BC.  This past year, participants installed specially designed Aler stoves for Guatemalan villagers.

With the design of the program now developed, Y.E.S. is ready to expand and become a District-wide program.


High school students (presently the program is seeking those in the 11th grade) commit to volunteer a minimum of 80 hours of local service in one year, and in exchange get a credit of $1,000 towards the cost of the international program. 

The volunteers hours are a combination of service that many of the students are already performing (in their school, church or community groups) along with additional community service at program approved sites.

One of the goals of Y.E.S. is to make the students humanitarians for life and to encourage them to live a life of Service Above Self.

Students attend monthly meetings to turn in their volunteer service logs, to research the country and people that they will be travelling to, to learn about Rotary, and to both fundraise and plan for the implementation of their service project.

Mentoring is a key component of the program.

Students must also commit to join or form an Interact club on their return.


The Y.E.S. program not only engages young people in local, community volunteer service and provides them the experience of international service, it offers many benefits to the sponsoring Rotary clubs:

1.    Y.E.S. is a high school leadership program that is doing something that other programs are not by offering an international service project.

2.    The program builds a relationship with the parents of the volunteers, who can be actively involved in the planning and fundraising for the trip. Those parents are have the potential to be future members of your Rotary club. Some parents have chosen to travel with the students and take an active part in the project.

3.    Y.E.S. allows you to build a relationship with the local business community by seeking sponsorship for students - which is also another source of potential members, as well as supporters of other Rotary club activities.

4.    For those Rotary clubs whose members feel that the priority should be helping the local community over international service, this program allows you to do both. It is also a very cost effective way for members of your club to participate and share their experience to encourage other members to understand the benefit of helping those in other countries.

Y.E.S. is a great way for your club to engage in all Avenues of Service within one program - youth, community, international, vocational and even club service.

Y.E.S. touches many lives: local community organizations receive hundreds of volunteer hours; Guatemalan villagers are provided with much needed assistance and develop positive relationships with American and Canadian volunteers; students experience a culture quite unlike their own and the joy of helping others; and Rotarians become more enthusiastic about fundraising when they learn of the significant impact of their efforts.


Very easily. Here is how to participate in the Y.E.S. program:

1.    Determine the number of students you want to sponsor. The cost to your Club is $2,000 per student: $1,000 is applied to the student's international program/transportation fee of $2,500. The other $1,000 is used to purchase the international service project materials.

2.    Distribute application information at your local high school. A template of all the forms you need will be provided by the program organizers.

3.    Meet with the applicants and select the students.

The Y.E.S. organizers will work with you and take it from there! 

There is an initial orientation session for all the selected students and their parents scheduled for the afternoon of Sunday October 28, 2013.

We hope you will join with us.

Please contact Bev Harrington (bev_harrington@msn.com) as soon as possible, as space is limited and it is necessary to begin the selection process at the beginning of the school year.