Founded in 1973 and coming up on it’s 50th Anniversary in 2023, Port Orchard Rotary has served its local and worldwide communities with distinction. Nowhere is the Rotary Motto of “SERVICE ABOVE SELF” more evident in the Rotary Club of Port Orchard than in our 36-year commitment to Rotary International’s Youth Exchange Program. “Building peace one student at a time” has made the Rotary Exchange program the envy of the world and deserving of respect from nations spanning the globe.
WE welcomed our first inbound youth exchange member in 1985/86, Asa, from Sweden. At the time, the Youth Exchange Program was headed by Charter member Pete Holt, who became our first Youth Exchange Officer. The following ten years we not only accepted an inbound student each year, we also sponsored an equal number of outbound students, sent abroad for a life changing year.
Each of our inbound students found their way into our hearts and we learned as much from them as they did us. They are a colorful bunch who have gone on to growing young families and successful careers:
1986/87 BOLIVIA – Goren 
1987/88 GERMANY – Tanya 
1988/89 SPAIN – Blanca 
1989/90 JAPAN – Aki 
1990/91 BELGIUM – Benoit 
1991/92 BRAZIL – Soria 
1992/93 SPAIN – Mire 
1993/94 ARGENTINA – Natalia 
Past Host families and past Youth Exchange Officers are still in touch with many of our exchange students. For example, Natalia (Argentina) is a successful attorney employed by Argentina’s largest port in Buenos Aires. She now has a beautiful daughter LARA who is five.
Bill Evans took over the reins of the Youth Exchange Program from Pete in 1993/94 and carried the tradition welcoming:
1995/96 ARGENTINA – “Ampy” Amporo 
1996/97 GERMANY – Fabian 
1997/98 POLAND – Bartek 
1998/99 HUNGARY – Krisztina 
1999/00 JAPAN – Satoko 
200/01 JAPAN – Eriko 
2001/02 HUNGARY – Hellie 
2002/03 FRANCE – Flore 
2003/04 BOLIVIA – Karlita 
2004/05 FINLAND – Elisa 
2005/06 DENMARK – Anne  
2006/07 SWEDEN – Helena 
2007/08 BRAZIL – Paulo 
2008/09 BELGIUM – Jean 
In 2009/10 Bill Evans stepped down from the Youth Exchange position to qualify to become a Host Parent for the 2009/10 inbound student from the CZECH REPUBLIC – Bara. Bill was replaced at the time by Ron Hutchinson, who continues yeoman duty as Youth Exchange Officer to this day in March, 2021!
The friendships and memories the exchange program creates impact lives all over the world. Flore is now an accomplished young lady managing her family’s restaurant outside of Paris, France. Elisa is now married with two darling children and is living in Finland. Jean (Belgium) is an accomplished Dr. of Medicine in Belgium. Our special memory of Helena is upon her arrival in America she was most excited to “go to the ball” --- which deciphered, eventually meant the High School Prom. Bara is now living in Berlin and has a marketing job with clients all over Europe. A select group of special and talented achievers to say the least!!!
2010/11 NETHERLANDS – Juliette 
2011/12 CHILE – Bea 
2012/13 ITALY – Serena 
2013/14 FINLAND – Jonna 
2014/15 TAIWAN – Paul 
2015/16 AUSTRIA -- Theresa 
2016/17 SPAIN – Lorena 
2017/18 COLUMBIA – Maria 
2018/19 INDONESIA – Fayza 
2019/20 returned to home country after 6 weeks
 Juliette is an outdoor adventuresome, kite surfing, extreme skiing young lady and a practicing Dentist in The Netherlands. Serena (Italy) is now living in Sardinia and making her way through the hardships of the COVID Pandemic. Maria is still living in Columbia and has a job utilizing her English skills working as a translator for UBER in America.
Each one of our inbound students have made a lasting impact on our club. Individual club members have reciprocated by making an impact on the student’s lives, particularly those who volunteer to be host parents.
We know we touch lives with our commitment to “Port Orchard Cares”, the scholarships we reward every year, and our support of water projects in Africa to name a few. But the tearful gracious gratitude of thanks from a departing exchange student is hard to beat!!!