Claudia Deiana, of Italy, spent the 2017-18 academic year as a Rotary International exchange student at Victor Senior High School. She recently reviewed her year at a Victor-Farmington Rotary Club meeting.
Using a PowerPoint presentation that included numerous photos, Deiana walked Rotarians through her year. She said that, before she applied to participate in the Rotary student program, it always was her dream to be an exchange student and come to America. Deiana, who arrived in August 2017, told the group that she has been “living [her] dream” for the past 10 months.
She said that memories from her year at Victor Senior HS and the friendships she developed with school staff and students will remain with her forever. In addition to her classes, she was involved in school sports, particularly the girls volleyball team that won a Section V championship and went all the way to the state finals. She was involved in the school’s ski team, but injured her leg after a bad fall. Deiana said the accident was “just another obstacle to overcome.”
Deiana expressed thanks to her three host families.
“They will always be a part of my life,” she said.
She thanked local Rotarians for their support, as well as the Rotary program for the opportunity to develop friendships with other exchange students from around the world who came to the Rochester-Finger Lakes area this year. Deiana said the students intend to continue their friendships when they return home. One day they hope to have a reunion back in the local area.
She closed her presentation by telling the group that she lived every day of the past 10 months as if it would be her last day in the exchange student program.
“I have done more things than I have ever done in my whole life,” she said. “In the words of Walt Disney, ‘If you can dream it, you can do it.’”
Deiana plans to wear those words on her cap at the Victor Senior HS graduation ceremony.
“You are my family,” Deiana told Rotarians. “I am glad to have you in my life.”
In club business, Rotarians recently joined with Farmington-Victor Kiwanis Club to help with a landscaping project at Serenity House in Victor. They trimmed bushes, pulled weeds, spread mulch and did routine lawn maintenance.
A group of visiting Rotarians from Australia recently toured the New Energy Works/Pioneer Millworks facility in Farmington. Rotarian Karen Parkhurst welcomed the group and introduced Owen MacDonald, an engineer at the facility, who served as tour guide. The visiting Australians spent a week in the Rochester-Finger Lakes area before moving on to Toronto for the Rotary International convention. They were accompanied by host Rotarians from Rotary clubs in Canandaigua and Bloomfield.