In the spirit of Youth Services Month, the Rotary Club of North Raleigh invited Sophia Dragao to speak. Sophia has been our club’s Rotary Exchange Student this past year. She is from Sao Joao da Boa Vista in the state of Sao Paulo in Brazil. She gave the club a presentation about her home, her family (home and host) and the culture of Brazil.

Sophia’s host families were in attendance at the meeting. Regina and Bill McCrorie hosted Sophia at their home for Sophia’s first 4 months in Raleigh. Sophia’s McCrorie “sisters” Emma, Megan & Grace Longley and their parents Kate and Mark hosted Sophia for the final months of her year here in Raleigh.

According to Sophia, she gets a lot of questions about why she chose to be an exchange student. Her answer? “Why Exchange? People usually ask me why did I leave my home, my life, and my family to come to a different country, speak a different language, and live with people that I do not know. And the answer is because I am looking for new experiences. All of us, exchange students, go to foreign countries to learn more about their culture, meeting new people, understanding their thoughts and customs, thinking globally. Being an exchange student helped me see that it is not all about my country and the way we live, but about others’ and their perspectives. I am grateful for the many opportunities that have made me grow in knowledge and confidence.”

The District 7710 Youth Exchange Committee also presented Peter Wienold with his Rotary blazer. Peter is an outbound exchange student for next year. He will be studying in Chile from August 2017 through June 2018.

Video of the Program:

About Sophia:

Photo of Sophia Dragao
Sophia Dragao 2017/05/17 – Rotary Youth Exchange, Inbound from BrazilRotary Youth Exchange


About Peter:

Photo of Peter Wienold
Peter Wienold Rotary Youth Exchange

Other Club News:

  • Greg Brissett gave his Past President’s reflection talk from his year as president in 2011-12. Video here: Side note: John Thomas (JT), president of the Wendell club, who sponsored Greg when he joined was in attendance.
  • Grant Walker was presented with a Paul Harris Fellow by club TRF chair Erik Grunwald. His mother Gail, past president of the Boone Rotary Club and father Jerry, past president of the North Raleigh Club (and 2 others), were both present for the ceremony. Video here: