In 1992, our club developed a program to promote the free enterprise system by giving high school students a hands-on experience creating their own businesses. Each year we take about 60 Long Beach area students up to YMCA Camp Oakes in Big Bear, and over the course of 2-1/2 days the students work in teams to create a business plan for a brand new business, and then present it to the entire group. The program develops teamwork skills, builds up self-confidence, and teaches practical business lessons in marketing, finance, operations, and more. Students that previously might not have ever been exposed to business concepts get to work with Rotarians who own businesses and have valuable experience to share. Our goal is to inspire the students to pursue a career they are passionate about, and to give them some tools to help them succeed in business and in life.
An InterAct club can be sponsored by a local Rotary club to help high schoolers not only learn about Rotary, but to create its own community service projects. Leadership development conferences and opportunities to engage with other InterAct clubs in the Rotary district are also available. Currently, our club sponsors InterAct clubs at Millikan and Poly High Schools. Other schools, such as Jordan and St. Anthony, are working on implementing InterAct clubs as well.
We heavily encourage InterAct members to apply for Long Beach Rotary scholarships that may be available to them.
A RotarAct club brings together adults 18-30 years old to perform community service projects, develop personal and professional skills, and have fun. A RotarAct club can be sponsored by a local Rotary club either for students attending a local college/university, or as a community club for those who are primarily already in the work force. Our club sponsors a RotarAct club at CSULB and a Community RotarAct club.
This program matches Rotarians with families needing a great deal of financial assistance in celebrating the holidays. Families with barely the ability to clothe and feed their children, would go without gifts at Christmas if it were not for the generosity of Rotarians and their families. There is also tremendous assistance with shopping, wrapping, and delivery of gifts by our Interact and Rotaract clubs.
We offer additional assistance to local students by helping to connect them with one-on-one mentoring opportunities, either with Rotarians or through other resources. In addition, we have recently expanded our mentoring efforts to include an internship program, where Camp Enterprise alumni can gain work experience during their summer break at a local Rotarian-owned business.
This is another opportunity for a Rotary club to support leadership development in youth. Our club sponsors 6-8 students to attend an annual camp designed to bring high school leaders together. The Rotary Youth Leadership Awards is a complete scholarship awarded to men and women of high school age who are leaving their junior year and will be in next year's senior high class. The intent of the program is to prepare these students for leadership roles in their senior year and beyond.
Rotary Youth Exchange enables high school students to travel abroad and experience new cultures, be an ambassador, and build friendships that last a lifetime. Long-Term Exchanges usually last one year, during which the student attends school, lives with their host families, and becomes a member of the community. Short-Term Exchanges can range from one to many weeks, during which the families of the exchange students host both students in one country, then the students travel together to be hosted by the other family.
The Rotary Youth Exchange program is coordinated through Rotary International and leverages the international reach of Rotary to coordinate and oversee the exchanges. The program is completely administered by Rotary club members, keeping program expenses low. In recent years, Long Beach Rotary has hosted students from Italy and France, and sent Long Beach students to Ecuador and Germany.
If you are interested in being a host family for an exchange student, or if you are a student interested in participating in an exchange, please contact the Long Beach Rotary office at firstname.lastname@example.org. Also, please visit the Rotary District 5320 Youth Exchange website
In 2005, to celebrate the 100 year anniversary of the founding of Rotary International, Long Beach Rotary partnered with the City of Long Beach to create a beautiful five acre park in a densely populated part of the city. The land was provided by the City on a strip of weed-choked, trash-filled, former Pacific Electric Railway right-of-way. Now a beautiful park filled with grass, trees, picnic pavilion, and play structures - including an educational art installation representing our solar system - Rotarians continue to keep a watchful eye and provide a monthly fellowship and cleanup of what we regard as "our" park. If you wish to join us, please call the Rotary Office at 562.436.8181 for more information.