Happy Cinco de Mayo!  May's theme is Youth Service Month and for many of you, your Youth Projects are coming to an end as the kids prepare for graduation and look forward to summer vacation!  It is an exciting time!  I spoke with a class of 2nd Graders and 3rd Graders yesterday about Water Safety and staying safe around the water!  We read together information from the Josh the Otter program which has been endorsed by Rotary International.  It was a great time, with excellent readers and singers in Harper ISD.  
Rotary Youth Exchange is back for the 2022-2022 year!  How exciting to send our youth abroad and at the same time host high school students from other countries to get a taste of South Central Texas Rotary Clubs.  I know that all the clubs participating and their host families and outbound students will have great stories to share.  What better way is there to promote Peace than to experience another country's culture through the eyes of a student?  Kudos to our Youth Exchange Committee for all their hard work interviewing and training both outbound & inbound students as well as host families.  They are all truly silent Heroes to all the kids who participate as without them, this program would not happen!!
Speaking of other great District Heroes, contact Darcee Grivel at the San Antonio Dominion Club for information about starting an Early Act Club for your local elementary school(s)!  Let's get these kids started early on obeying the 4 Way Test and Service Above Self.  Her schools are amazing and help their host club with many service projects!  They are developing strong leadership skills early!
What about Interact?  Have you reached out to Mike Canales with the Winston School and the San Antonio North Central Rotary Club?  Proud to announce that a new Interact Club was chartered last month at Pieper High School!  That brings us up to 43 Interact Clubs in our District.  We are not done yet!  There are more high schools to contact and to recruit to participate in this program!  How wonderful it is to see Interact members working alongside Rotarians and taking a leadership role in helping with Club Leadership Training on 4/30 at the Winston School!  
We have several Rotaract Clubs in District 5840.  The most recent club to be rechartered is with Texas State University, sponsored by the San Marcos Rotary Club!  They have already been very busy supporting club events and hosting their own fundraiser.  And, Community Rotaract Clubs are growing throughout the world.  These clubs are comprised of young adults not necessarily affiliated with a university who are looking to make a difference through networking and community service.  This is a perfect stepping stone for someone unable to join Rotary, who still wants to give back to their community.  There is great information on MyRotary.org about how to start one of these clubs!  Check it out!
Lastly, did your club send students to RYLA?  Congrats to Ron Greenberg and his amazing team of volunteers for hosting an in-person training this spring amid the challenges of COVID-19!  Returning students coordinate and provide the training for high school juniors from throughout District 5840!  Exceptional speakers are also utilized to cover topics that need to be addressed in today's high school environment.  Many of the attendees return to their schools as leader for the Interact Club, Student Council and athletics!  Please plan on sending at least 2 students from your area to this incredible training in 2022-2023!
Youth are the future of Rotary and they will be the leaders of tomorrow!