Youth Service        

By nurturing youth, Rotarians can provide the skills young people need to succeed as future community leaders. Youth programs provide Rotarians the opportunity to develop their own leadership and communications skills and also provides for many incredible moments!


Youth Service Activities:

Rotary Youth Exchange
Other Activities/Committees 

Rotary Youth Exchange

District 6490 is very active in the Rotary Youth Exchange program, which involves hosting international students in the U.S. and sending our local students to study abroad. These exchanges have a powerful, lasting impact on the students and host families alike. Learn more about Rotary Youth Exchange.

Outbound Program (US students studying abroad)

Learn more about the District 6490 Outbound program and application process.

Inbound Program (International students studying in Central IL)

Learn more about the District 6490 Inbound program, studying in Central IL

  • Rotary Youth Exchange Committee -- With the aid of designated club-level Youth Exchange Officers, this committee assists eligible high school students (Inbounds and Outbounds, 15-17 years of age 1 year prior to departure) in applying for and completing a year overseas as Rotary youth ambassadors representing their country, community and Rotary Club.

    Chair: Terry Weir (Marshall)


Interact is a service club for teens, and District 6490 has several Interact clubs – all affiliated with high schools:

  • Central Catholic High School, Bloomington – sponsored by Bloomington-Normal Sunrise Rotary
  • University High School, Normal – sponsored by Bloomington-Normal Sunset Rotary
  • Champaign Central High School – sponsored by Savoy and Champaign-Urbana Sunrise Rotary
  • Champaign Centennial High School – sponsored by Champaign Rotary
  • The High School of St. Thomas More – sponsored by Champaign West Rotary
  • Charleston High School – sponsored by Charleston Rotary
  • Clinton YMCA Excel Club – sponsored by Clinton Rotary
  • Gibson City - Melvin - Sibley Club– sponsored by Gibson City Rotary
  • Hoopeston High School - sponsored by Hoopeston Rotary
  • Mahomet-Seymour High School - sponsored by Mahomet Rotary
  • Marshall High School – sponsored by Marshall Rotary
  • Monticello High School – sponsored by Monticello Rotary
  • Normal Community High School – sponsored by Normal Rotary
  • Paris High School – sponsored by Paris Rotary
  • Pontiac High School - sponsored by Pontiac Rotary
  • Prairie Central High School - sponsored by Fairbury Rotary
  • Rantoul Township High School – sponsored by Rantoul Rotary
  • Robinson High School – sponsored by Robinson Rotary
  • Schlarman High School - sponsored by Danville Sunrise Rotary
  • Sullivan High School - sponsored by Sullivan Rotary
  • Urbana High School – sponsored by Urbana Rotary
  • Vandalia Community High School – sponsored by Vandalia Rotary
  • YILA - sponsored by Decatur Rotary

Download information on starting an Interact in your community.

  • Interact and Early Act Committee – This committee works with Rotary Clubs to implement and foster the development of Interact and Early Act Clubs.

    Chair: Janet Ellis-Nelson, Champaign


Rotaract Clubs are service clubs for adults age 18-30. Most of the Rotaract Clubs in District 6490 are community based, one is centered around a university:

  • Douglas Country Rotaract

    Community Based


    Sponsor Club: Tuscola

    Meeting Time: See FB

  • Illini Rotaract

    College-based: University of Illinois


    Sponsor Clubs: Urbana and Champaign West

    Meeting Time: See FB

  • Champaign County Rotaract

    Community Based



    Sponsor Club: Champaign West

    Meeting Time: See FB

  • Rotaract Club of Bloomington Normal

    Community Based


           Sponsor Club: Bloomington Normal Sunrise

          Meeting Time: See FB 

Learn more information about Rotaract Clubs

  • Rotaract Committee – This committee works with Rotary Clubs to implement and foster the development of Rotaract Clubs and work with Rotaract Clubs to help them achieve their goals.

    Chair: Nick Voss (Champaign West)

           District 6490 Rotaract Facebook Discussion group: 



EarlyAct is a service club for elementary or middle school/junior high age students. The sponsoring Rotary club members act as facilitators, role models, and mentors to the EarlyAct Club members. A faculty sponsor is also highly recommended for club success. EarlyAct engages students in character-building activities and prepares them for leadership roles by identifying and carrying out service projects that benefit their school, local and global communities. 

  • EarlyAct Committee - This committee can provide assistance and materials to help clubs establish their own EarlyAct Club.

    Chair: Janet Ellis-Nelson (Champaign)

Rotary Youth Leadership Award (RYLA)

RYLA is a weekend retreat where high school students learn about leadership and team-building. The teens work together in groups on projects as well. Learn more information about RYLA.

  • Rotary Youth Leadership Award (RYLA) Committee

    Chair: Roxanne Johnston (Rantoul)


Other Committees

Here are other District 6490 committees that help carry out the mission of Youth Service:

  • Global Grants and Peace Scholars – The District Scholarship Committee functions as a subcommittee of the Foundation Committee. It has the responsibility of recommending to the District Foundation Committee the types of scholarships the District offers.

    Chair: Tom Hodson (Champaign West)

  • Literacy and Education – This committee is responsible to work with clubs to implement local and international literay projects, continue to build a relationship between the clubs and the Illinois Reading Council, distribute Cardinal Care Funds and assist in any other items dealing with Literacy and Education.

    Chair: Mike Harris, Monticello




Thursday, October 29th, at 5:30pm, Rotary District 6490 is hosting Zoom online training for Rotary Club Membership Chairs and other Club Leaders. District Trainer Bev Soltwedel will be sharing valuable information regarding the role leaders play with membership within clubs.

Several District Leaders are attending, too, and all participants have the opportunity to ask questions and share ideas.

JOIN ZOOM TRAINING Meeting ID: 880 4058 7313 Passcode: 575832


The Tradition Continued, and it was a success! The District 6490 Basket Auction was offered online this year, and the auction raised more than $5000 for the PolioPlus Fund!

Thanks to the generosity of Champaign West Rotary Charities, we were able to have a Virtual Basket Auction using Champaign West’s CU’s Got Talent OneCause Account.

District Conference, October 3:
Best Virtual District Conference Ever!

Rotary Makes Miracles Happen!

With 198 registered and more than 170 attending, the district conference was held on Saturday morning, October 3. It featured a special message for our conference from RI President Holger Knaack, a keynote address on the nature of miracles from author John O'Leary, a visit with new Rotary International Director Valarie Wafer, breakout sessions, special music, and the 2019-2020 District awards.

Click here for the conference program

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