Houlton Rotary recently welcomed their 2014 youth exchange students Sarah Abbotoni and Emily Mooers to learn about their International Youth Exchanges last summer and to meet the 2015 youth exchange students, Keegan Fitzpatrick and Hannah Jacobs.
Sarah Abbotoni is a recent graduate of Houlton High School and is now a student at the University of Maine. She experienced her exchange in Biella, Italy, a community in the northern mountain region. “I had a wonderful time with my host sister, Carola and her family. We explored many areas of Italy, from the beautiful mountains to the warm waters of the Mediterranean Sea”, stated Sarah. “The food, the culture, and the people were unforgettable”. Sarah visited the famous cities of Milan, Pisa, and Rome. She loved the historical architecture, including the Vatican, the leaning tower of Pisa and the famous Roman Coliseum. Carola enjoyed Maine lobster, toasting marshmallows and attending a Boston Red Sox game. Sarah was so moved by the experience, she is taking Italian language courses at college. Sarah is the daughter of Daryl and Heidi Abbotoni.
Emily Mooers is a senior at Houlton High School and experienced her exchange in Sinabelkirchen, Austria, a small town south of Vienna. “I truly enjoyed my exchange sister Mady, and her family. ”, stated Emily. “Austria is so beautiful and rich with history and culture. I saw amazing castles, churches and even a clock museum.” Although the food was very different then what we have here in Maine, she tried it all and reported the ice cream was ‘awesome’. “We also took a trip to Venice, Italy, which was very exciting to visit personally” exclaimed Emily. Mady was excited to visit New Year City only to find it to be ‘overrated’, but enjoyed Boston and Harvard University’s campus. She also loved Maine and had a blast waterskiing on Drew’s Lake. Emily is the daughter of David and Nancy Mooers.
Houlton Rotary is pleased to introduce Keegan Fitzpatrick and Hanna Jacobs as their 2015 youth exchange students. Keegan is a senior at Houlton High School and is the son of Brady Fitzpatrick and Jessica Fitzpatrick. Hannah Jacobs is a sophomore at Houlton High School and is the daughter of Dan and Stephanie Jacobs. Both students have an interest in Spain, however, The Netherlands and Italy are also being considered.
For over 75 years, students and host families have broadened their horizons through Rotary Youth Exchange. More than 80 countries and over 8,000 students each year participate in the program, which is administered at the regional level by Rotary districts and at the local level by Rotary clubs. This program was established in the Houlton Rotary Club in 2003. It is the objective of this program to advance the knowledge and world understanding of these students, as well as to foster world peace and good will at a personal level. Dana Delano, Houlton Rotary’s Youth Exchange Officer states: “Sarah and Emily have been wonderful ambassadors of the Rotary Club, our community and Houlton High School. We hope this experience has broadened their knowledge and interest in different cultures. They have each certainly made a new lifelong friend”.