From Finland, with love: Stella gives her youth exchange presentation
“I want to thank all Rotarians,” Stella Pirskanen opened her Dec. 11 talk at her host club, Pearl Rotary.
“I’m so lucky that I have the greatest host families and have great friends. It’s like everything is perfect.”
Stella, who recently celebrated her 16th birthday and is a student at Lincoln High School, discovered the Rotary program at the Internet. She comes from a small city of 5,000 people, Vihti, located 40 kilometers north of Helsinki.
She shared pictures of her home, town, family and school in Finland…and her PowerPoint include smiling faces here of friends, families and youth exchange inbounds. The words she most repeated: “fun” and “cool.”
“People are so lovely here,” Stella observed. “I am very happy. Thank you to all you people for the great experiences.
“This is the happiest year of my life.”
Club Officer Dave Bangsund championed Pearl Rotarians for both financial and volunteer support for youth exchange. “Our club is recognized through District 5100,” he said. He also reminded all that PPRC will host and send two students in 2013-14, requiring six host families (three each for next year’s inbounds).
Following the meeting, nine current and past youth exchange participants gathered with Bangsund for a photo. They are (from left):
- Denise Ramsden, host mother to Stella, formerly in New Zealand
- Nadine Glowacz, a friend of Stella’s at Lincoln (here on a corresponding student program)
- Rotarian Darcy Cronin, who studied in Denmark
- Stella Pirskanen, here from Finland
- David Bangsund, club officer, Pearl Rotary
- Danielle Jewett, outbound in 2011-12 to France from PPRC
- Xavier Rodriguez, outbound candidate for 2013-14, Lincoln H.S.
- Elisabeth Fosler-Jones, outbound candidate for 2013-14, Central Catholic H.S.
- Rotarian Nigel Vanderford, who studied in Denmark
- Rotarian Kelly Morrow, who studied in Australia