How Rotary and Kennedy High School Changed My Experience in America

Rotary Youth Exchange builds peace one young person at a time.


Roberta Prats and Rotary friends at Marshalltown for the day.

Rotary’s goal is to help students learn new languages, discover other cultures, and truly become global citizens. They have achieved their goal with me. Rotary is the organization that helped make everything possible for me. They set up my exchange this school year from Spain to America.

Rotary is an organization that truly loves having exchange students. I think this because they love doing activities with us like setting up trips and conferences that make our experience better. Every month I have one Rotary meeting with my district. My district is composed of 14 exchange students from nine different countries.

They are my second family here in Cedar Rapids because we can understand each other perfectly. We have so much fun together and I enjoy hanging out and laughing with them. Each meeting we do something different and are able to meet new students from different countries.

In Rotary we are assigned a counselor, my counselor is Amber. Amber is the person I go to when I need help with something or have problems. She is someone that really cares about me and tries to make this experience the best it can be. Rotary does a really good job of taking care of me in every aspect including my home, school, activities, etc. They help make this year away from home a better experience. Being a foreign exchange student wouldn’t be possible without them.

Going to school at Cedar Rapids Kennedy High School has been a very big part of my experience in America. Kennedy’s been one of the best things for me and its given me the best memories. Sports have really contributed to me making friends here. So far, I’ve played volleyball and basketball, and I will be playing tennis in the spring.

Through these sports I have met so many new people and I get to see them everyday. I think playing sports had been one of the best decisions I’ve made here.  One of the best memories I’ve had is during basketball season when my team and I had a team dinner at the restaurant La Cantina. One of my team members Raphe was turning 18 that day and the workers brought out a big cake to surprise her. It was a sweet moment because I felt happy for her and she felt so loved and welcomed by the Kennedy girl’s basketball team.

Along with sports, Kennedy has some activities throughout the year to make things a little bit more exciting. Kennedy has homecoming, WPA, and prom dances. This is one thing that we don’t have in Spain, so I think is cool way to enjoy my exchange year.

Rotary and Kennedy High School are really involved in exchange students’ programs and I just can’t say thank you enough for make this year amazing and unforgettable.