Youth Service        

By nurturing youth, Rotarians can provide the skills young people need to succeed as future community leaders. Youth programs provide Rotarians the opportunity to develop their own leadership and communications skills and also provides for many incredible moments!  

Youth Service Activities:

Rotary Youth Exchange
Other Committees 

Rotary Youth Exchange

District 6490 is very active in the Rotary Youth Exchange program, which involves hosting international students in the U.S. and sending our local students to study abroad. These exchanges have a powerful, lasting impact on the students and host families alike. Learn more about Rotary Youth Exchange.


Chair: Rebecca Reis Smith (Champaign)

Interact clubs bring together young people ages 12-18 to develop leadership skills while discovering the power of “Service Above Self”. Interact clubs organize at least two projects every year, one that helps their school or community and one that promotes international understanding. Rotary club sponsors mentor and guide Interactors as they carry out projects and develop leadership skills.

Download information on starting an Interact in your community.

Download the District 6490 Interact Club Project Request

Download the District 6490 Interact Grant Application


Rotaract clubs bring together people ages 18 and older to exchange ideas with leaders in the community, develop leadership and professional skills, and have fun through service.

Learn more about Rotaract Clubs



EarlyAct is a service club for elementary or middle school/junior high age students. The sponsoring Rotary club members act as facilitators, role models, and mentors to the EarlyAct Club members. A faculty sponsor is also highly recommended for club success. EarlyAct engages students in character-building activities and prepares them for leadership roles by identifying and carrying out service projects that benefit their school, local and global communities. 

EarlyAct Committee - This committee can provide assistance and materials to help clubs establish their own EarlyAct Club.

Chair: Janet Ellis-Nelson (Champaign)

Rotary Youth Leadership Award (RYLA)

Chair: Tayna Walker (Arthur)

Rotary Youth Leadership Awards (RYLA) Committee organizes a three-day weekend in the spring for high school sophomores, juniors, and seniors where students develop leadership and team building skills while having fun.

Learn more about RYLA.

Download the RYLA Manual 

Other Committees 

Here are other District 6490 committees that help carry out the mission of Youth Service:

Literacy and Education Committee

Chair: Kris Graves (Arcola)

The Basic Education and Literacy Committee works with clubs to implement local projects such as the high school essay contest, supports international literacy initiatives, and distributes the Cardinal Care Funds.

2021-2022 High School Essay Writing Contest

Download the Guidelines and Registration Packet 

Please direct questions toJulia RKris Graves (Arcola)