So, you are the new YEO (Youth Exchange Officer) for your club. Now what? What is your role entail?  What can you expect? Here you will find a quick overview of your responsibilities. A much more complete instruction can be found by downloading and reviewing the YEO manual. This position is one of the most important roles in our Youth Exchange Program, it is up to this person to both recruit potential outbound students, place inbound students with host families, monitor the progress of both students throughout the year and work with the YEAH database.
On this page there is a lot of great information to assist you with your job. Review it and ask questions of the Youth Exchange Committee if you have any. A great resource for you is the Club Coordinator, they can answer so many questions for you while you are learning the job and beyond.

Vetting Volunteers

Completing the vetting background process on all volunteers that work with the Youth Program, this includes counselors and host family members and general club members that want to be involved with the student program. This process is explained in detail in the YEAH HUB and Portal Basic Instructions file under the YEAH heading on this website.

It is recommended that you develop a Youth Exchange Committee; your team can assist you in all matters Youth Exchange. Your team should consist of yourself, your club’s student counselor and at least one other vetted Rotarian. You can ask your Youth Protection officer to join your team or any other interested Rotarians that have the same passion for the program as you do. But, it is most advisable that you have at a minimum 3 vetted Rotarians in your club.

Finding Members For Your Committee

The easiest way is to ask at a club meeting who would be interested in working with you in the program. You may be surprised how many want to help out; they just don’t want to be the “leader”. Get the names of those interested and set up a meeting with them, individually or in a group setting, to find out their desire; what would they like to do? Would they be most interested in working directly with the student? Do they like handling paperwork and working with the database? Perhaps they would be happy to be the “events planner” – getting club members involved with the student for fun activities or even a dinner at home – helping the club get to know your student.
Once you find your team you will need to get them vetted in the YEAH database. District 5020 requires all adults working with our youth for more than just casual contact be fully vetted. Plus having them vetted in the database allows them to assist you in follow up visits with both the host family and the student.

Recruiting Outbound Students

In early September you will need to make arrangements with the school to talk to students about the program. This can take place in several ways; a school assembly; a class of 10th graders with a sympathetic teacher that will allow you to take up time in their classroom, flyers; interact club; and many other possibilities. You will need to introduce the program to these students; we say 10th graders because although a student can choose to go out in their 12th grade year, it is ideal for them to go in their grade 11. There are many reasons for this but a very important reason is they will be there to help you talk to the students about the program after their return. In fact using the current inbound and the most recent rebound to talk about the program is the best sales tool we have. You should be there only to advise, let the students do the talking.
Follow this up with an information night where you invite interested students and parents to hear more about the program, You will have an interview night scheduled and you will need to assemble an interview panel (this should not be more than 4 people and if the rebound student is available – use them as one of your panel). Interviews should be set no later than October 1st. Once a student is selected to go forward to the district interviews you should help them to get their application completed by the end of October. The application is very lengthy and requires a letter written by both the student and parents. Don’t be shy about asking the student to rewrite this letter if it is not in good format. This is their first impression and it needs to be their best. Pay attention to sentence structure and grammar. Did they answer all the questions?

Finding Host Families 

Time and time again we hear that this is the hardest part of the job. It is your outbound student's responsibility to provide the names of three potential host families.  You are responsible for reaching out to each of these families to verify that they are interested in hosting and making a preliminary determination that they will make a good host family.  Once your student is selected, you and your team need to complete the screening and vetting of these three host families.  
To get a view on best practices and how to vet your families, review the process under “Host Families”. Ideally, you should have three qualified families, but two will suffice. All families do not need to be screened and vetted prior to the student’s arrival, however, the initial host family must be vetted in the spring prior to the student’s arrival in August in order to fulfill Guarantee Form requirements.

Registering Students For District Events

You will be directed by the club coordinator when you need to register your students for events like; inbound orientation, outbound interviews, mid winter orientation, and district conference. 

Monitoring Student’s School Progress

You should be checking in with the school on a regular basis to see how your student is doing. Do they require some additional tutoring to help them in the beginning? Would a change in classes be beneficial? Be sure to work closely with your club’s student counselor to insure timely school checks. 

Manage Students Travel Requests

Familiarize yourself with the student travel policy and make sure the student and all host families are familiar with the requirements. When a student requests travel make sure all the information is there before sending it on up the chain for final approval (if it is needed). All students must submit a Travel Request form for any travel that requires more than the Host Family approval.

Monitor Student’s Family Life

Checking in with the student and family often (at a minimum once every 30 days) to see how things are going. A monthly Counselor's Report needs to be submitted to the YEAH database. See the YEAH instructions on how to do this.

Keeping In Touch With Outbound Students

Try to keep in touch with the outbound student, this can be easier said than done because they are so busy in their new life but many clubs require their students to send home monthly reports.

Got Questions?
Enter your email address and the message you want to send.
fields are required