A podcast by Bill Grile
Rotarian’s everywhere, every day, are taking action to create lasting change in our communities, across the globe, and indeed … in themselves. Building personal relationships are at the heart of this, and Rotary’s international travel exchange programs have built countless relationships that promote peace, goodwill and understanding.
Today, let’s listen in as Past District Governor Bill Grile talks with Dr. Laurence Soteo about his experiences thanks to an exchange between Rotary District 3850 in the Philippines and District 5110 in Oregon.
Good afternoon. I’m past District Governor Bill Grile. I was governor of Rotary District 5110 in 2018, 2019. And I’m here this afternoon with Dr. Lawrence Soteo. Lawrence is a Philippine national who is at this time in the United States teaching school on an exchange. But more about that later we want to talk about group study exchange or Rotary program and the impact its had on my life on Lawrence’s life and the lives of so many others. So with that. Good afternoon, Lawrence.
Good afternoon Bill.
So tell me, tell me a little bit about yourself, who are you?
So, I am doctor at large that they should. I say that, like I was part of a group study exchanged before, like way back 2013. So I’ve been here back and forth like four-four times already. So, I am a special ed teacher right now in North Dakota and blessing in disguise, I was hired as a special education teacher for next school year. 2223 in North Salem, High School here in Oregon.
Tell me what exactly is group study exchange anyway.
The group study exchanging was like a very, for me, significant program of the Rotary International, so it gives like us real young professionals. Like me, a time to have vocasional visits and learn culture here in the United States of America. And for me, it was like a life-changing experience. So I was able to have this experience to visit several schools because I am a teacher and eventually I was able to apply what I have observed out of the application of visits when I went back to the Philippines. And it gives me some sort of inspiration to go back and really have a job in here.
And so there you were, you were in the Philippines and you were working at an exclusive boys school and somewhere, you heard about Rotary. When did you first hear about Rotary?
One of my students? His dad is a Rotarian, but prior to that, I’ve been exposed also to some Rotary programs. Like, in the Philippines. We have this Rotary boys and girls, week and being the student affairs officer in charge of the school activities, so I was part of, you know, the screening Committee in choosing the Rotary boys and girls, and it so happened. That one of my students was chosen to be the city mayor during the Rotary voice. And, I was involved also of the activities in Rotary and I thought I thought myself my oh, this is a nice organization and that made me more or less. So, enticed to be part of Rotary. And when I was offered, with that program by one of that pair, one of the parents of ours. Like if he I wanted to be part of the group study exchange and I said, why not. So it all started in that .