Lynette Wilke, RYE District Committee Chair, Akin Olufowoshe, and PDG Ed Charlesworth contributed to a program geared towards the returning Rotary Youth students and their parents last Saturday.  Each student had completed a school year in another country which most likely led to personal growth, better international understanding,  and changes in self-esteem.  While each participant would have grown and matured had they remained in their own family and their own school, these changes are enhanced by the RYE experience of living with different families in another country and building so many new international friendships.  Time-out to process these changes and help their families recognize their growth and changed perspectives is very beneficial to all concerned.  The workshop held discussions related to "How have I changed", both positive and negative experiences about being home, exploring their relationships currently with family and friends, understanding realistic expectations for re-adapting to home, and specific suggestions for parents of the youth exchange students.  Some past youth exchange students helped facilitate the discussions, too.  It is understandable that "You cannot go abroad without coming home a changed person".   The Rotary Youth Exchange program is well-organized, comprehensive, and offers great support for students here and abroad, including their families.  
Note:  Our club is sponsoring a student from Germany this year who will arrive in August.  Also involved with RYE are the following members of our club:  Anais Watsky, PDG Nick Giannone, Ruben Santos, Shirin Parke Durant, Evelyn Traylor, and Elizabeth Nordin.  It takes many dedicated Rotarians to commit to recruiting students, training inbound and outbound students, finding host families, providing safety and security of the students, arranging transportation to district events (such as Houston Livestock & Rodeo or RYLA), and more.  Our club is well represented on the D5890 Rotary Youth Exchange District Committee.