| Estaban Castano Gave moving presentation on Youth Exchange|
by Ladd, Jeff
The meeting today highlighted Estaban Castano and his moving and inspiring presentation on Rotary's New Generations Programs.
He spoke eloquently about his exchange year in North West Thailand that molded and inspired his life in many ways he had not foreseen and the ever expanding effects it has had on everything he currently does from Roteract to College to his conceiving and starting a business in his senior year at Dartmouth. Some of his takeaways; A year living in another culture allows one to understand that culture deeply, to adopt a different way of thinking, to acquire a different pallet or framework through which to view the world. Conclusions; People are the same everywhere, We have a duty to help each other out, we have a duty to do everything in our power to resolve differences and avoid war.
In summarizing he said the Rotary Programs; the exchange program, Interact, and Roteract, serve to open doors to opportunity, they build character, and they build future Rotarians. They work "instilling values to build engines of service" that will pass on the vision for the generations that follow.
Good stuff, not to mention he had some lively, upbeat and enlightening videos of his time in Thailand.
Esteban Castaño is a senior at Dartmouth College in Hanover, NH, where he is double-majoring in Economics and International Relations. He believes in a life of “Service above Self” and hopes to serve others through a career in social enterprise and international development.
Esteban’s relationship with Rotary began at the age of seventeen, when a Rotarian named Alan Wylie encouraged Esteban to apply for the Rotary Youth Exchange program. Esteban did and was soon on his way to northern Thailand where he spent twelve months living with Thai host families and being immersed in the local culture. He produced a video of his experience, which he later used to recruit new youth exchange students from around his home in Houston, Texas.
In 2010 and 2011, Esteban was the lead Rotary Exchange trainer at the Houston Rotary Youth Exchange Training Program. In 2012, Esteban helped revive the Dartmouth Rotaract Club and was invited to speak on New Generations Service at the 2012 Rotary International Convention in Bangkok, Thailand. At 2012 Rotaract Pre-Convention Meeting in Bangkok, Esteban helped initiate a crowd-sourced website that would document best-practices among Rotaract clubs and preserve institutional memory. RotaractorWiki, as the website became known, is now used by hundreds of Rotaract clubs from around the world and has over 370 pages of content. In 2013, Esteban was awarded a scholarship to attend ARYLA (Advanced Rotary Youth Leadership Awards), an intensive four-day leadership conference for young professionals. That experience solidified his interest in harnessing business models and market mechanisms to sustainably address social inequalities. Rotarians, by consistently displaying “Service above Self”, continually inspire Esteban to better his community.
Esteban is the founder of Dartmouth Roots, an undergraduate leadership organization that seeks to continually improve Dartmouth. As Vice-President of the Ledyard Canoe Club, Esteban teaches whitewater kayaking and participates in local river clean-ups with the Hanover Rotary Club. He believes that education has the power to transform communities and recently founded a company that is working to make academic discourse free and accessible to anyone, anywhere.