New Generations refers to the youngest generation in the family of Rotary. Many are participants in Rotary’s youth and young adult programs: Interact, Rotaract, Rotary Youth Leadership Awards (RYLA), and Rotary Youth Exchange. Others are service minded young people involved in Rotary club and district activities.
Past RI President Luis Vicente Giay coined the term New Generations when he shared his belief that the future of Rotary relied on involving young people in the organization’s programs and activities. At the 1996 RI Convention in Calgary, Alberta, Canada, he said:
Our vision for the future, now more than ever, is the difference between success and failure. The New Generations are our investment in the future. Let us begin to build that future today.
New Generations Service became Rotary’s fifth Avenue of Service in 2010. It is defined in article 5 of the Standard Rotary Club Constitution:
New Generations Service recognizes the positive change implemented by youth and young adults through leadership development activities, involvement in community and international service projects, and exchange programs that enrich and foster world peace and cultural understanding. Clackamas Sunrise Rotary is committed to involving youth and young adults in our vocational, community, and international service projects, and providing programs and resources that support them.
Interact is Rotary’s service club for youth ages 12-18. The Clackamas Sunrise Rotary Interact club is school-based in the Clackamas Rex Putman School District. Our club sponsors and provide them with support and guidance, but each Interact club is self-governing and self-supporting. The goals of Interact include developing leadership skills and personal integrity, demonstrating helpfulness and respect for others, understanding the value of individual responsibility and hard work, and advancing international understanding and goodwill.
Rotaract is Rotary’s service club for young adults ages 18-30. University-based clubs consist of undergraduate and graduate students who meet on campus. Community based clubs consist of young adults from various backgrounds, regardless of their professional or academic status. All Rotaract clubs are sponsored by a local Rotary club and conduct community and international service projects. Rotaract clubs also focus on leadership and professional development activities.
Rotary Youth Exchange
Rotary Youth Exchange is Rotary’s exchange program for youth and young adults. It allows students to spend up to a year living in a different country and learning a new culture. Students ages 15-19 can participate in a long-term exchange of up to one year, or they can choose a short-term exchange, which can last from several days to several weeks. New Generations Exchanges for young adults ages 18-25 can range from a few weeks to three months. Rotary clubs and districts sponsor exchange participants, who serve as ambassadors for their countries.
Rotary Youth Leadership Awards is Rotary’s leadership training program for young people. RYLA participants range from age 14 to 30, so most clubs and districts choose to focus on a specific age group, such as 14-18, 19-24, or 25-30. RYLA emphasizes leadership, citizenship, and personal growth. The program demonstrates Rotary’s respect and concern for youth by providing an effective training experience for potential leaders, encouraging leadership of youth by youth, and publicly recognizing young people who serve their communities.