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Sam's Student Exchange to Denmark

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My name is Samantha Bartl. I'm 16 years-old and from Portales, New Mexico. I have been given an amazing opportunity by Rotary Internatinal to spend my junior year of high school in Denmark as a Rotary Youth Exchange ambassador representing the United States and my home state of New Mexico. Rotary Youth Exchange (RYE) is a wonderful program that gives high school students from around the world just like me the the opportunity to immerse themselves in a different culture, learn the language and customs and grow in ways that only exchange programs provide. 

Exchange students gain a fresh understanding of themselves,other cultures and other customs. Participants in the program form lifelong friendships with fellow exchange students as well as their host families they live with while on exchange. 

A Rotary Club in Copenhagen, Denmark selected me out of all the exchange students from around the world to come to their city, go to a high school there, learn Danish and learn as much as I can about their culture. This is a tremendous honor and responsibility I do not take lightly.  I can't even imagine all that I will discover and learn and how it will impact me as a young person.  The "extended family" I will discover during the course of the year will forever impact my heart and my future and I too hope to do the same for them.

The funds from this GoFundMe campaign will assist with paying for my Rotary Youth Exchange travel expenses to  Denmark and costs while living the year abroad. The initial estimate for this Rotary Youth Exchange ambassador program abroad in Copenhagen is over $10,000.  If I can raise some additional funds to help lessen the burden on my parents, I may also be able to sign up for a Rotary Youth Exchange bus tour of 18 European countries in just 18 worldwind days. This is a once in a lifetime opportunity for a small town girl like me from Portales, New Mexico.  Your generous support will also go toward helping cover the costs for my visa to Denmark, travel insurance and some of my monthly living expenses. 

This support would mean the absolute world to me. This is the opportunity I have dreamed about for several years.  My mother has been a Rotarian for 17 years and told me about this exchange when I was twelve.  We have talked about what this RYE would open up for me as a person that I couldn't learn if I stayed in my home town.  My parents support me with this exchange but have asked me if I would regret missing my junior year of high school here in New Mexico including Prom, varsity cheerleading and theatre productions.  My response to my parents after months of deep consideration is that I know in my heart that I would miss out on something bigger and greater if I didn't go on this exchange.   Its very important to me because coming from a small town in rural New Mexico, not many people get to immerse themselves in another country, and learn the language on the other side of the world.

I leave the first weekend of August 2017. Funds would be greatly appreciated before that time so that I have time to plan my budget for that year and pay for the airline tickets as soon as the visa arrives.  In fact, I have to apply for the visa in person and the closest location is a consulate in Houston, Texas;  a ten hour drive and additional costs my family wasn't prepared for.  I'm working as a lifeguard this summer at the city pool to help pay for the exchange and try to alleviate some of the costs to my parents.  Your generous donations would be greatly appreciated during the course of the exchange too.   There will be small excursions to historical and fascinating locations across Denmark with my host families where I will be asked to cover some of the costs.

I can't even begin to tell you how much I'm looking forward to the Rotary Youth Exchange ambassador year abroad.  I'm an excellent student (4.4 cumulative GPA) and I give 100% to all that I commit to. With this exchange I will make you proud for choosing to invest in me. I will give it 120%!

Thank you for reading about my Rotary Youth Exchanged opportunity, for your consideration of my request for support, and for choosing to help me represent Portales, New Mexico and the United States.


  • Vivian Cato
    • $25 
    • 7 yrs

Organizer and beneficiary

Samantha Bartl
Portales, NM
Noelle Bartl

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