Rotarians hear of youth exchange in Turkey

Staff Reports

TROY — In 2014, Troy High School student, Caity Klawon, decided she wanted to spend her senior year abroad to learn about new cultures and have exciting experiences. During Troy Rotary’s weekly meeting on July 26th, Klawon shared some of those adventures with the club members who helped sponsor her as a participant in Rotary International’s Rotary Youth Exchange program.

Klawon was one of many students from around the United States and the world to participate in the annual program. After applying to be an exchange student, she was selected to spend the year in Samsun, Turkey, on the Black Sea.

Klawon lived with three different families during her stay and attended school in the hills of Samsun. The families helped her become accustomed to the culture and traditions of the country, including how to dress while being out in public. She also learned the fundamentals of speaking Turkish. When the hosts discovered that Klawon plans to become a dentist, they arranged for her to job shadow and intern with a surgeon at a local dental/medical clinic.

Unfortunately, for her own safety, the time in Turkey was curtailed by the United States Consulate as the political unrest in the country escalated. Despite the last minute change in plans, she continued to experience other cultures in Europe before returning to the United States recently. When asked how she felt about the exchange experience, she said she was overjoyed to have had the chance to go and would encourage other students to consider such an opportunity. The wanderlust spirit continues to be strong in Klawon, and she will soon head out of town to attend college in pursuit of her dream to be a dentist.

Rotary Youth Exchanges are available through Rotary International. Visit their Web site at to learn more about the program. Troy Rotarians and the Troy Rotary Foundation support several community projects annually.

During the 2015-16 Rotary year, over $23,000 in scholarships and community aid was distributed from the fund, including support for Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library program, Rotary’s annual Shoe Project, academic and community service scholarships, and sponsorships to summer camps at Brukner Nature Center and WACO Air Museum. The Troy Rotary Club is a member-involved, goal-oriented service club focused on socio/economic issues that have an impact both locally and internationally. Follow their activities on Facebook at Troy Rotary Club. To learn more about Rotary and membership, please visit


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