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Gabriella van Rij at the Rotary Club
Feb 27, 2019

A Dream Come True...

A couple days ago, I attended my first official Rotary meeting as a Rotarian and at the end of the meeting, a young student came up to me who happened to be present during my talk at North Scott High School a couple days prior.

While talking with her, I am reminded of two things:

First, how great it is that students are part of each rotary club! Learning to give back to their communities at a young age is definitely going to impact their lives and the world around them. They have a golden opportunity through this organization to be part of something bigger than themselves. Every young mind out there that takes advantage of such an opportunity will learn the gift of giving as they give back to their community.

Second, how interesting it is to meet someone who has heard you speak and that can tell you what part of the talk impacted them. In my case, people often resonate with my personal story as they realize that they, too, can find their might and succeed. We live by example after all and through sharing and showing our vulnerability through storytelling, we connect with others. Each story resonates with the listener who then understands that they too are not alone.

One of my dreams came true on Thursday, February 21, 2019—the day I became an official Rotarian member with the Rotary E-Club One World. At 14 years old, this was a wish of mine. At the time, however, my father told me that this was a man’s club only.

Ever since the Dare to be Kind Movement started on the World Tour, we have been speaking and visiting Rotarian Clubs around the nation. It is so rewarding to speak to a group of like-minded people that are interested in being the difference in other’s lives, which is everything the movement stands for. “One Moment, One Person, One Kindness; BE the difference!” is our slogan and it is very aligned with what Rotarians have been doing around the world for decades.

I am so honored to be part of this organization and to meet all their members around the world that are impacting one person at a time… Together we can #BEtheDifference!