Your Local Rotary Can Help Your School

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The Firestorm® Leadership team is composed of some of the most knowledgeable individuals in the country on the topic of school and workplace violence, forensic and clinical psychology, threat assessment, security, safety and trauma. Members of the Firestorm Leadership Team are actively involved forging relationships and partnerships with local, state, national and international organizations.

One such community partner often overlooked by schools are the local clubs of Rotary International. Founded in 1905, Rotary International brings together a global network of volunteer leaders who dedicate their time and talent to overcome the World’s most pressing humanitarian issues. The work of Rotary members impacts lives at both the national and international levels by connecting 1.2 million members from more than 200 countries and geographical areas. Rotary Clubs help local schools whether public or private.

Rotary Benefits For Schoolsrotary

Firestorm has first-hand seen Rotary Clubs actively support local schools by assisting in funding projects at schools, supporting service projects for students and providing scholarships.

“There’s a misconception in the education community that Rotary Clubs only work with public schools. That’s definitely not the case.” – Jim Squire, Executive Vice President and Chief Development Officer at Firestorm.

One of Rotary International’s Six Areas of Focus globally is “Supporting Education.”  Every Rotary Club every year assists local schools in various ways. In a recent conversation with Squire, we discussed how his own Rotary Club while he was president donated dictionaries and thesauruses to local elementary schools. “There’s an opportunity for every school to reach out to their local Rotary Club to share what the needs of the school are and to see if there’s a way for the club to assist.”

Rotary Clubs and Organizations

In addition to direct service projects Rotary Clubs focus on developing emerging leaders in their communities by offering programs to help students enhance their skills.

Interact Clubs are a Rotary Club sponsored initiative designed for youth ages 12-18 who want to connect with others in their community or school. Members of Interact Clubs complete local service projects while learning about the world through Rotary International. Clubs plan two events for the year, one benefitting the community and one that encourages international understanding. While a member of Interact in my own high school, my classmates and I collected new sandals and shoes for children in South America. After we collected the shoes, we shipped them to areas that were in need of the resources.interact

Rotary Youth Leadership Awards (RYLA) is a leadership development program created by Rotary. Events focus on secondary school students, university students or young professionals. The events are three to 10 days long and encompass presentations, activities and workshops. The topics covered during the events are:

  • Leadership fundamentals and ethics
  • Communication skills
  • Problem Solving and conflict management
  • Community and global citizenship

Rotaract Clubs

In addition to the Interact Clubs in high schools and middle schools, Rotary Clubs also bring together college students and young professionals, ages 18-30, to participate in service activities, develop leadership and professional skills and have fun. Rotaract members are sponsored by Rotary clubs, but manage and fund their clubs independently. Members work closely with their local Rotary Club and many times become Rotary members after their Rotaract membership ends.

Rotary Scholarships/Grants

In addition to providing clubs and organizations to grow emerging leaders, Rotary Clubs offer three different scholarships for students.

District Grant Scholarships can be used to sponsor secondary school, undergraduate or graduate students studying any subject either locally or abroad. The scholarship can cover expenses for any amount of time – whether a student is participating in a six-week or over a year of coursework. Although not required by the Rotary Foundation, districts may require scholarship recipients to participate in Rotary service projects or make presentations to local clubs.

Global Grant Scholarships support graduate students studying abroad in one of Rotary International’s Six Areas of Focus.areas of focus

  • Peace and conflict prevention/resolution
  • Disease prevention and treatment
  • Water and sanitation
  • Maternal and child heath
  • Basic education and literacy
  • Economic and community development

The Global Grant Scholarships range from one to four years. These grants are funded using cash and/or District Designated Fund, matched by the Rotary International World Fund. The budget must total $30,000, but other scholarships may be a component of the larger grant application. Applicants must show proof that they are accepted into the chosen university in order to qualify for the grant.

Packaged Grant Scholarships are offered for scholarships with two partners. The Rotary Foundation offers eight Packaged Grants annually for water and sanitation professionals to study at UNESCO-IHE Institute for Water Education in Delft, the Netherlands.

Each Rotary Club is eligible to apply and receive all three types of grants to award to students.

Building and maintaining a relationship with a local Rotary Club is unquestionably beneficial to any school. The Rotary International website,, is rich with information about opportunities that you might want to consider as you engage your local Rotary Club, including a Club Finder feature at the top of the home page for locating Rotary Clubs in your area.  

Firestorm Rotary Support

Apart from work, the Firestorm Leadership Team members make time to give back to their communities. Many of the Firestorm Leadership Team members are active in their local Rotary Clubs.

When Squire learned of the “Service Above Self” motto of Rotary International, he knew he needed to become a member. He set out to become an active member and within five years was the president of the Rotary Club of Sandy Springs.  He is now the Rotary District 6900 Youth Services Chairman. By joining Rotary, Jim shared “It gave me an opportunity to do community and international service work with my contemporaries in the business world.”

Firestorm CEO and co-founder, Harry Rhulen, is active in his local Evergreen, Colorado Rotary Club. Firestorm President, COO and co-founder, Jim Satterfield, often speaks at Rotary Club meetings on the topic of crisis and the Firestorm PREDICT.PLAN.PERFORM® methodology.

Interested in becoming part of one of the largest service organizations in the world? You can find a local club online here.

Interested in learning more about how Firestorm can help in this partnership, contact us here.

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