In addition to the Foundation programs, there are several other programs that are of special interest to District Rotarians. These programs are recognized by ROTARY INTERNATIONAL and participation is encouraged. However, they are not funded by ROTARY INTERNATIONAL.
The youth exchange program is one of Rotary’s most popular programs to promote international understanding and develop lifelong friendships. It offers young people interesting opportunities and rich experiences to see another part of the world. High school students usually spend a full academic year in the home of one or more Rotarians. Shorter programs are also available. Unlike the Foundation programs, the exchange is arranged directly with the exchange between a student in a foreign country and a student in the District. Funding is the responsibility of the individual students and their families. Some Rotary clubs assist in the funding, but the majority of the expense is borne by the student’s family. rotary serves as a clearing house by helping to publicize the program and accept names of students seeking to use the exchange program. Rotary sets the rules that must be observed, including restrictions on driving in a foreign country by students while participating in an exchange program. The program is open to dependents of Rotarians since the family or club funds sponsor the exchange. The 2008 exchange will be with Japan.
The Rotary Youth Leadership Award (RYLA) program is a District run program for high school students selected and sponsored by clubs within the District. The students assemble at Camp Pirtle boy scout camp. There are normally two sessions in the spring. The camp is a week end camp. The youth spend the weekend in a challenging program conducted by local Rotarian volunteers with challenging events using the COPE program. In addition speakers and leaders provide inspiration, leadership training, and social activities. The program is designed to teach teamwork and develop leadership skills and good citizenship.
INTERACT is an organization for high school students designed to provide opportunities for boys and girls of high school age to work together in a world fellowship of service and international understanding. Each INTERACT club must be sponsored and supervised by a Rotary Club and requires a faculty sponsor at the school where the club is organized. The INTERACT club must plan annual projects of service to its school, community, or world.
ROTORACT is a program similar to INTERACT at the Junior College or College level.