Xavier junior wins Rotary Scholarship


Maddie Feltman, News Writer

Every year, five of the seven Rotary programs in Cedar Rapids and surrounding areas each sponsor one student to participate in the Rotary International Youth Exchange Program. This program provides area students with the opportunity to study abroad through other groups of Rotarians in other countries at no cost. The scholarships are available to high school sophomores, juniors, and seniors. The opportunity to study abroad can take place junior, senior, or post senior year. Xavier had multiple students apply for a scholarship, and junior Megan Lenss received one of them. Junior Melody Snow was chosen as an alternate in the chance that one of the five students drops out. The opportunity for the scholarship was presented to Xavier students by foreign language teacher Mrs. Jaclyn Richmond.
“We are always looking for ways that we can connect what we learn in the classroom to the real world,” Mrs. Richmond said. “Rotary International is just one more opportunity we present to our students as an affordable option for exploring new countries, widening perspectives and further developing language skills.”
Each applicant must go through an extensive application process starting with a thorough paper application that includes health records, letters to future host families, and photos. From there each student is invited to a club interview, held on October 31. Each student was interviewed by three Rotarians. After receiving a phone call from Tim Michaels, the head Rotarian, Lenss was selected by Sunrise Rotary. This was followed by a home interview with her family.
“I was surprised by the call that I was selected. I am very excited to be given such an amazing opportunity,” Lenss said.
A final district interview was held on November 21 to ensure that Lenss is a good ambassador for the Rotary. Lenss will participate in a joint exchange, swapping places with another student from the country the Rotary selects. Lenss’ opportunity to study abroad will take place next school year.