No matter the country, ethnicity, or financial status, the need is the same everywhere and students are entering college and career with visions of their future but no real way to verify the fit or right steps to take.
The Rotary Student Program was designed to help young people connect with business professionals living their dream career. By exploring the possibilities in the earliest stages of the career development and selection process, 15-18 year olds, globally, have the chance to confirm or redirect their dreams.
In reverse interview settings, participants gain rare access to professionals—from CEOs of global corporations to small-business owners and startup entrepreneurs. Through the program, students explore dreams from every possible direction—from becoming an NFL football player to becoming a global peace leader, from becoming a medical professional to going into the entertainment business, from working as a public servant in politics to starting a private family business. With the Rotary Student Program, the exploratory opportunities and possibilities are endless.
Taking over as Chair of the program, Jackie, an Ad Exec, formed a committee, which included Bank Exec, Maria Kibler, and Environmental Engineer, Rick Villa. All agreed to pilot the Rotary Student Program. Before launch, a full committee was formed including Judge Dave Peterson, Politician Al Pscholka, Retired Business Exec Rae German, Hospice CEO Linda Beushausen and High School Superintendent Al Skibbe. Within its first year, the program quickly gained support, with participation from five school districts, and interest grew in other parts of Michigan.
Through further research, it was discovered that the career connection void was not just in Michigan or in North America, but was global in scale. After gaining the attention of Rotary District 6360 leadership in Michigan, the program caught the attention of 2011-2012 Rotary International President Kalyan Banerjee. On February 2, 2012, a meeting was set up at Rotary International Headquarters, Evanston, Illinois, USA, between President Banerjee and Jackie Huie. Joining them was Jackie’s 12-year old son, Grant Huie.
After the meeting, the Rotary Student Program was given heightened global attention during breakout sessions at Rotary International Convention 2013, Lisbon, Portugal, and again at Rotary International Convention 2015, Sao Paulo, Brazil. Presenters were Jackie Huie, her husband, Mike Huie, and Rotary District 6360 District Governor 2013-2014 Terry Allen.
Since program inception, more than 138 countries feature the Rotary Student Program website which has had more than 53,000 unique visitors. With the release of the April 2017 issue of Rotarian Magazine and online Rotary.org features, website traffic and interest in the program has increased dramatically. While the Rotary Student Program Facebook page will have more timely activity, returning visitors to the website will see fresh downloadable information on a regular basis and should visit often.
What is Rotary Club?
Founded in Chicago in 1905, Rotary International has over 32,000 clubs in 200 countries and over 1.2 million members worldwide. Boasting a vast membership of well-connected business professionals, the organization provides humanitarian service, encourages high ethical standards, and helps build goodwill and peace in the world. Participating clubs share the global motto “Service Above Self”, which exemplifies activities to support local, district, national, and international projects and initiatives.
About the Rotary Student Program Founder
A Rotarian since 1994, Jackie has worn many hats in Rotary, including District 6360 Chair for Career Mentoring. In her business profession, Jackie is CEO of JohnsonRauhoff, a creative agency founded in 1969 by her career mentor and father Don Johnson. Starting her advertising career working for Ogilvy & Mather, Chicago, then Tracey-Locke, Los Angeles, Jackie is best known for her 1985 redesign of the McDonald’s Hamburglar. In 1990, Jackie returned to Michigan to help her father build the business he started in the basement of his home. In 1997, Jackie married Mike Huie, who in 2016 left his Global Business Unit Director job at Whirlpool Corporation to join JohnsonRauhoff as its Chief Strategy Officer. Mike and Jackie have three children (all members of Interact) and have hosted two Rotary Youth Exchange Students, one from Brazil and one from Poland (who stayed on with the Huie family to attend college in the US). True to the spirit of the program to never give up on a good idea, Jackie jokes that her best friend is an English Bulldog named Oberon.