In hopes of getting more Rotaract students to be involved with the Rotary, the Rotary club of Branchburg has started a new program called Pathways to Rotary, where Rotaract members can become members of our Rotary club. We envisioned a future where Rotaract members will work with the Rotarians to promote the ideal of peace and understanding. Pathways to Rotary is also a great way to for Rotarians to ensure the future of Rotary. Through the program, the club employs Rotary’s guiding principles to bring vocational service to life by giving members opportunities to use their professional experiences, leadership and skills as mentors to guide young people in building a successful future.
We recently inducted 5 Rotaract members to our club. Our district has waived their dues and we do not charge Rotaract members to have a breakfast with us. Ten years ago, I initiated the process to charter the Rotaract club of Raritan Valley Community College (RVCC) and served as their first advisor and helped establish the club. The first Rotaract club president of the RVCC Rotaract club is now professor at the college and a member of our club as well as the RVCC Rotaract club advisor. Some of the Branchburg Rotary Club’s initial program with Rotaract involved in mentoring programs and humanitarian projects in various countries, such as sponsoring them to go on a Humanitarian Mission to Nepal in early 2017. Once the Rotaract members discovered the benefit and joy of being members of our Rotary club, they started to attend our meetings regularly.
We started with 5 members, now there are more than 10 Rotaract students who are interested in joining the Rotary club. When I explained the Pathways to Rotary concept to our club members they were very receptive to the idea.
Our Rotaract members have supported all our club projects including organizing, planning and implementing the packing of 50,000 bags of food every year since 2012. They are constantly helping our club and neighboring clubs with many programs and activities.
Rotary founder Paul Harris once said, “The story of Rotary will have to be written again and again.” Our club believes that in our new Pathways to Rotary story demonstrates how today’s youth can help to make a difference, given them an opportunity to serve along with the Rotary club members.