Rotary's lifelong lesson

This year, three families are broadening their horizons thanks to the Baldwinsville Rotary Club.

The families are providing a home to Esther Azeredo Ruis, an exchange student from Brazil who is attending Baker High School.

"My sister went to Germany and my brother came to this district and they both just loved it," Esther said about participating in the program.

Esther is from Tres Pontas, Minas Gerais, four hours north of Sao Paulo. Through her siblings' influence, she wanted to learn about a different culture and a different school.

"In my whole school I have less kids than in my grade here," she said, adding that the snow was quite a culture shock.

So, why does one student need three families?

"We want the students to have a variety of experiences while they are here," said Sally Fedrizzi, vice chair for outbound exchange students for District 7150 and a member of the Baldwinsville Rotary Club.

According to Fedrizzi, the Rotary operates the exchange program so students can become ambassadors within their home country. Rotary is an international organization with a goal of promoting world peace and by building relations through the youth exchange world wide, Rotary hopes to realize this purpose.

"The goal of the program is to become an ambassador and to make a better world," she said.

Since 1958, the Rotary International has sponsored thousands of both inbound and outbound exchange students around the world. The Baldwinsville Rotary Club is one of 58 clubs within District 7150, which ranges east to west from Utica to Auburn and north to south from Oswego to Tully. For the 2007-08 school year, 31 students were sent outbound to one of 23 different participating countries and 30 inbound students, including Esther, came here to central New York. However, more students applied.

Host families needed

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