Posted by Bob Buck on Jan 03, 2019
Wednesday's HARC meeting was a treat with Sami Helgeson stopping by to update the club on her activities since being a Rotary Exchange student. Sami was drawn to the Holmen High School Rotary Interact Club with their "Service Above Self" message. She was accepted as the 2014-2015 outgoing Holmen Area Foreign Exchange Student and spent almost a year living with a host family and attending school in Indonesia. Sami is now attending University of Denver, working towards a double major in Environmental Science and International Studies.  Sami has been very active, volunteering for PlatteForum, Charles Hay World School PTSA and DU Public Achievement, an internship at the EPA, participating in the Pioneer Leadership Program - University of Denver and involved with food resource programs Plates for the Planet and Food Recovery at DU. 
As part of her studies, Sami has participated in the University's Study Abroad program, learning Arabic and spending the last semester living in Amman Jordan in the Middle East. There she was embedded into the community, living with a host family and experiencing the culture. She witnessed first hand the effects of over a million Syrian refugees and the humanitarian issues that ensue. As part of the experience, Sami traveled to the United Nations European Offices in Switzerland and met with representatives of front line NGOs like Doctors Without Borders. She was able to use her environmental sciences knowledge through an internship at Queen Rania Family and Child Center, working on an agricultural curriculum for their educational greenhouse. 
Sami's future goals are to graduate in 2020 and then apply to the Peace Corps. Sami attributes her global mindset to the opportunities offered by Rotary. Rotary International states "Rotary’s programs are developing the next generation of leaders, providing funding to make the world a better place, and making peace a priority." I think they succeeded here.