Posted by Des O'Shanassy on Mar 15, 2023

Rotary clubs often lose track of potential youth leaders once they graduate from youth projects. The Rotary club of Hoppers Crossing has found a way to retain these links through the introduction of a young people’s networking group: Rotary Youth Projects Alumni, or RYPA.  

Through RYPA young people over eighteen and up to twenty-five years who progress through Rotary endorsed Youth programs can stay in contact with each other and their sponsor Rotary club.  They can gain through networking opportunities; Rotary mentoring; and by running a major humanitarian service project themselves once per year. 

Pictured: Rotary Hoppers Crossing RYPA Group

Why a Rotary Youth Alumni? 

Creating a Rotary club Youth Projects alumni will ensure an ongoing relationship between young people who have undertaken a Rotary endorsed youth project and their sponsor club. It is rewarding for everyone involved and is an opportunity to embed the ideals of humanitarian community service work.  

From Rotary’s perspective, engaging with alumni is an opportunity to increase the awareness of volunteerism and community service in young people; and enables them to have a safe platform in which to socialize and network.  

The Model: 

The initial cohort can be relatively small - ten members is ideal - selected from graduates of one of the many Youth projects each club embarks on. Many of the initial cohort will be known to each other. They will select a leader or leaders who will become the conduit between the alumni and its sponsor Rotary club. 

A Facebook page can be created, which will form the main communication link between Alumni members. Members can meet in person at a central location, or members, particularly those who live a distance away can join meetings by Zoom.   

The group will meet on a semi-regular basis and will use RYPA as a networking opportunity and may choose to assist its sponsor Rotary club with manpower support. RYPA is also an opportunity to make a difference in the world and the group should perform at least one local or international humanitarian project per year as a major focus, but otherwise they can decide their own path.  

The Rotary Hoppers Crossing RYPA trial has now been successfully completed and the Group is up and running. They completed their first humanitarian project late in 2022 with a fundraiser for a cyclone impacted primary school in Vanuatu. 

This RYPA model is available to other Rotary clubs as an opportunity to retain their links with alumni of their youth programs who see the benefits of retaining their links to Rotary. 

For further information please contact Des O’Shanassy    or mob. 0401 287050 

Pictured: Hoppers Crossing RYPA Humanitarian Project Co-ordiantor Muskaan Dalmia