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GRSP Update
The GRSP Students are Here!

Many of you are welcoming new students into your homes this month and moving them into their dorm rooms.

GRSP CONCLAVE - AUGUST 23-25

Students will be attending Conclave hosted by District 6920 at Georgia Southern University in Statesboro, Georgia the weekend of August 23-25, 2019. The Conclave allows all of the GRSP students to come together and meet one another for the first time. It's also a great weekend for GRSP host families, past and present, to share experiences. During Conclave, students attend educational sessions that are designed to help them adjust to life in the US and to become part of their host families, clubs and schools. GRSP Trustees also attend to receive valuable program updates and training.

GRSP liaisons from Rotary clubs across the state are strongly encouraged to attend to gain a better understanding of GRSP and each club's integral role in the experience. All Rotarians are invited to come enjoy the fun and fellowship at the evening functions throughout the weekend to support the students, particularly on Saturday night where the students sing, act in skits, recite poetry that they’ve written, play musical instruments or dance – whatever their talent.

Please contact your GRSP Trustee for specific information on the Conclave and/or register at www.grsp.org

MARK YOUR CALENDARS

Plans are already being made by several of our clubs to host the students on several weekends during the year.

  • We have a brand new sponsor for one of the weekends, the Rotary Club of Columbus. If the past Conclave in Columbus is any indication, the weekend of September 6-8, 2019 will be a very special weekend.
  • The second weekend is scheduled for October 11-13 in Savannah.
  • The North Fulton Rotary Clubs will be hosting the students November 1-3.
  • The GRSP Leadership Weekend takes place January 17-19, 2020 - sponsored by the Rotary Club of Dunwoody with help from Gainesville, Buckhead, North Atlanta, Brookhaven and more
  • The Rotary Club of Pelham will host March 26-29, 2020
  • Camden County will welcome the students April 2-5, 2020

These weekends allow the students to learn more about what it means to be living in a global society and how they can impact the world. They participate in team building activities, service projects and networking between themselves and Rotarians. These are great bonding experiences for all who involve themselves and not just weekends for fun and games. These clubs work very hard on these weekends and we thank them for their dedication to the program.

STRATEGIC PLANNING NEWS

The Strategic Planning Committee has been meeting nearly every other month over the last two years to review the operations and future of the Georgia Rotary Student Program. Since this program is a nonprofit corporation, one person cannot make a decision for the entire organization. It is a democratically operated organization, which requires a vote from each director, officer and voting trustee. GRSP only has three business meetings per year. At our January and July meetings, we were able to get many of our recommendations passed, including approval of a new position called the Director of Development and Outreach. This position will entail travel throughout all three districts and require close ties with the Savannah Office. We are also working on a new website that we plan to release and unveil at our Conclave in late August. We have created a new timeline for our host families and have adopted the timeline for our trustees that District 6900 has been using for over five years.

We have been discussing the lack of diversity with our student population and the problems that all face with the escalating costs of higher education. Last summer the Strategic Planning Committee decided to try something new with selection that could also impact the costs of the program for a club. The Rotary Club of Dunwoody was asked by the GRSP Board and voted last year to be the first club to try the new program, based on their strong connections with Oglethorpe University. Since the club had a large committee focused on GRSP, the GRSP Board voted to allow the Dunwoody Club to assess the program for the 2019-2020 Rotary Year. Selection would be delayed until summer when the applications came in to Oglethorpe University. Dunwoody announced that they were able to offer a scholarship to a Freshman from Ethiopia and would. The Dunwoody Club will be matching the funds given by the GRSP Endowment, which cuts their program costs by more than half. No one can remember ever having a student from Ethiopia. By newsletter time, she may already have arrived in Georgia with the rest of the students. There were a few hurtles that the club had to overcome, but the club had a very strong relationship with the university and a time commitment from several Rotarians. If your club is interested, please speak with your trustee to find out the details and get approval from the Program. This could be a game-changer for your club!!

ENDOWMENT NEWS

This year 22 of our clubs gave more than $50 per capita to the GRSP Endowment (four more than last year) and will be receiving either an incentive check or a credit, depending on whether or not they are hosting a student this year. The original purpose of the incentive program was to encourage clubs to host a student and give to the endowment. The Endowment Trustees do not believe that this program has encouraged much additional giving, but the Trustees as a whole believe that it has and voted to continue the program again; however, the Trustees also voted to allow a credit to those clubs that are not hosting a student for the following year to be held in perpetuity until the club decides to host a student. Because this is an endowment, we have complicated rules from the IRS; hence, we have complicated rules on the incentive rebate. I do have a copy of the rules and will be happy to furnish it to you upon request.

A committee will be meeting in October to determine how much the Endowment will be able to give to assist with tuition for next year. Representatives from our District always push for higher assistance than the financial representatives advise, as we believe that it will enhance program participation and Endowment giving.

Posted by Lynn Clarke
August 1, 2019

Comments

Posted by Jackie Crum
August 1, 2019 1:04pm

Great read thanks for sharing.

Jackie Crum

Paulding Co Rotary