Rotaract and Scholarships
Rotaract originally began as a Rotary International youth program in 1968 at Charlotte North Rotary Club in Charlotte, North Carolina, United States, and has grown into a major organization of over 10,904 clubs spread around the world and over 203,000 members in 180 countries. It is a service, leadership, professional and community service organization (often miscommunicated as a Social Service Club) for young men and women between the ages 18 and over.
Rotaract focuses on the development of young adults as leaders in their communities and workplaces. Clubs around the world also take part in international service projects, in a global effort to bring peace and international understanding to the world.
In 2019, Rotaract went from being a program of Rotary International to being a membership type of Rotary International, elevating its status to resemble that of Rotary clubs. As of 1 July 2020, Rotaract clubs can exist on their own, or may be sponsored by Rotary and/or Rotaract clubs. This makes them true "partners in service" and key members of the family of Rotary.
This is one of the world’s largest privately sponsored international scholarship programmes. It started in 1947 with the aim of furthering international understanding and goodwill, and over 70 years later it continues to be a great success.
The current scholarship model started in 2013. Rotary Scholarships are funded by Global Grants and are for overseas graduate study under one of Rotary’s six Areas of Focus for one to four years. More Rotary Scholars come to study in the UK than in any other country.
During their studies abroad, Rotary Foundation Scholars are hosted by a club local to their place of study. They have opportunities to take part in club activities, meet the other Rotary scholars hosted in the district and to visit other clubs to speak about their studies and career aspirations.
Rotary Club of Chiswick and Brentford has hosted scholars over recent years. We have asked scholars to take part in Club Service projects to understand how we support the community locally and internationally. In addition invited them to join club meetings, to meet Club Members.
Our members have much interest in the courses, studies and career development of the young people. Many students continue to stay in touch with the club for a long time after the completion of courses. Scholars often remain associated with Rotary and/or become Rotarians themselves.