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About Us

Our History

 

Rotary has been making history and bringing our world closer together for over 100

years. In August 1910, the sixteen Rotary Clubs in the United States formed the National

Association of Rotary Clubs, now Rotary International. 

Rotaract started as a service program for individuals ages 17 to 25, sponsored by local Rotary clubs.

 

The Rotaract Club of Toronto was the first Rotaract Club outside the United States and we were formally chartered on February 17, 1980, and re-charted on December 7, 1987. Since then, we have been serving our local community and communities abroad for 30+ years of continuous service.

Today we bring together students and young professionals ages 18+ to serve through volunteering and service projects, develop leadership and professional skills and have fun through fellowship. 

 

Our Values

 

 

Rotary was founded on principles that remain at the heart of the organization today. These principles reflect our core values: integrity, diversity, service, leadership, and fellowship. Our core values emerge as themes in our guiding principles.

 

We respect, welcome, and represent people and ideas of a diverse Toronto, leading to greater innovation and creativity. Our organization is non-religious, non-partisan and we abide by the Four-Way Test.

1. Is it the TRUTH?

2. Is it FAIR to all concerned?

3. Will it build GOODWILL and BETTER FRIENDSHIPS?

4. Will it be BENEFICIAL to all concerned?

We want people with differing perspectives and ideas who will help us take action to create lasting change in communities at home and around the world. Through the Rotaract Club of Toronto, you will find unique opportunities to get involved. Everyone is welcome!

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Rotarians and Rotaractors participating in the Toronto Pride Parade. 

 

Our Mission 

 

Most of our service projects fall within Rotary's six areas of focus to build international relationships, improve lives, and create a better world to support our peace efforts and end polio forever. The areas of focus are: Promoting peace, Fighting disease, Providing clean water, sanitation, and hygiene, Saving mothers and children, Supporting education, Growing local economies and Protecting the environment.

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 Rotaractors cleaning up the Toronto Island shoreline

Our Leadership

 

The Rotaract Club of Toronto is led by our president, board of directors and committee chairs, who are referred to as the Steering Committee.

 

They are elected or appointed by our members and serve a one-year term from July 1 to June 30.

Meet Our Steering Commitee

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Lara Valles

President

Joining Rotaract was all about being able to give back to the community and in these past three years it's been all that and more. Interesting fact about me is that I still read children's books (some people Netflix and Chill but I like to Harry Potter and Chill). For me, this year is about recognizing that being able to give back is a privilege and making sure to develop future leaders that will allow our Club to grow so that we can give back more. As well, one of my favourite things about our Club is being able to get to know people from all walks of life; you can learn so much about the world simply by listening from others' life experiences and with restrictions lifting it's something I'm excited for the fellowship opportunities to come.

Evelyn Sham

Vice President 

A few years out after graduating from university, Evelyn wanted to find new opportunities to become more involved in the community and meet new people. In came the Rotaract Club of Toronto and the rest is history. Being part of the Rotaract family has enabled her to volunteer in the community, foster wonderful friendships, and more! This year, she would like to work with the Steering Committee to find creative ways to empower new Rotaract members and help them feel more confident in taking the lead on different initiatives in the club. Evelyn truly believe that what you have to offer does not purely rest on how long you have been part of Rotaract. Our club is a group of diverse individuals with different interests and experiences, so there is a spot for everyone!

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Aditi Kara   

Treasurer

Aditi joined the Rotaract Club of Toronto in 2020. As a fresh off the boat immigrant, she was eager to meet people. Through Rotaract she was introduced to progressive people who are striving to bring a change they want to see in the world. She believes that Rotaract is not merely a social or a charitable club but also a platform for young people to explore their own potential and growth. This year she has taken up the role of the Treasurer of the Club. She is excited to add new energy to this role and learn from her peers. Outside of Rotaract, Aditi is a studying to be a Lawyer in Ontario.

Irene Kuan

Secretary 

 

Being a part of the Rotaract family has been and continues to be an amazing experience! The Rotaract Club of Toronto is a truly diverse and welcoming group of committed individuals. Irene keenly enjoy working alongside like-minded people to improve the local and global communities. She is a firm believer in teamwork and collaboration. This year she looks forward to inviting other enthusiastic leaders to join us in serving the community to make a positive difference. Be sure to sign up for our club email newsletters to receive updates, events, and more! A fun fact about Irene: She loves learning new languages

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Sonny Carmona

Public Image Director 

Sonny joined The Rotary Family in 2011 when she went was part of the Rotary Youth Exchange Students 2011-12 representing Venezuela in Calgary, AB. After being part of Rotaract Club Barcelona, Venezuela, she moved to Toronto were she studied Marketing in Seneca College. She believe in the power that media have in the communities and how by joining forces we can have a better world.

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Florian Ostendorf

Club Service Committee Chair

 

As new immigrant to Canada, Florian knows how hard it can be to meet new people and build lasting friendships in a new setting - especially during the pandemic. The open-minded and welcoming people he got to know through the Rotaract Club of Toronto were his motivation to join the club in 2020 and lead this year's Club Service Committee. As we start to leave the pandemic behind us, the committee focuses on creating opportunities for existing as well as prospective members to socialize and meet each other in-person.
Outside of Rotaract, Florian enjoys food and drinks, various sport activities - skiing, running, swimming to name a few - and literature.

Bukola Oladeji

Environmental Action Committee Chair

 

Bukola joined Rotaract to make a positive difference in the world. Outside of Rotaract, she have participated in many different events and clubs where the focus was on environmental sustainability, and she is an active member of the District 7070 Environmental Action Committee. An interesting fact about her is that she loves to listen to audiobooks and podcasts, and love to try out new things! When supporting the environment became Rotary’s new area of focus, as a passionate advocate of environmental sustainability, Bukola really wanted to support the club and establish sustainable initiatives that help preserve our planet. She was thrilled to take on the role of the first Environmental Action Committee Chair of the Rotaract Club of Toronto and she is looking forward to growing the committee and serving the community, both locally and internationally.

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Umama Siddiqi
Ethics Committee Chair

 

Umama joined the Rotaract Club of Toronto in 2021 and has since enjoyed learning about the club through participating in several different committees. This year, she’s serving on the newly established Ethics Committee to help enforce equitable practices within the organization in order to create a safe space for everyone in the community. When not volunteering, Umama enjoys running, painting, and being a full-time graduate student (only sometimes)

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Giulio Leghissa

International Service Committee Chair

 

Giulio joined the Rotaract Club of Toronto in 2021 and is serving on the International Service Committee.

Wali Zia

Professional Development Director  

 

For each person, there is a purpose in this world. Let yours be the doing of all good things.” Wali's mantra defines everything he does and that is the reason why he joined Rotaract. As someone with the desire and ability to help others achieve success and greatness, he spends his time making sure he can help individuals achieve professional growth through Rotaract and be able to unlock their potentials and help others along the way.

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Our Event Code of Conduct

 

The Rotaract Club of Toronto ( henceforth “Club”) is dedicated to providing a discrimination and harassment-free experience for participants at all of our events, whether they are held in person or virtually. The Club is committed to safeguarding its members, participants and third parties interacting with the Club from discrimination and harassment of any kind through this “Code of Conduct”. 

Our  purpose is to provide opportunities of service for the community, professional development and fellowship. When attending  Club events, whether in-person or virtual, or related ancillary or social events, any participants, including speakers, attendees, volunteers, sponsors, guests or anyone else, shall not violate this Code of Conduct.

This Code of Conduct may be revised at any time by the Club and the terms will remain effective and are non-negotiable. Your registration for or attendance at any Rotaract Toronto event, whether it’s held in person or virtually, indicates your agreement to abide by this policy and its terms.

The terms of this Code of Conduct are as follows:

  1. We encourage our participants to act in a manner that is aligned with the Rotary Four-Way Test and is inclusive and accepting of others.

  2. We expect participants to consume alcohol responsibly and we reserve the right to deny service to participants for any reason whatsoever, and may require a participant to leave the event in the event of inappropriate or disruptive behavior associated with alcohol consumption.  Participants are required to pre-arrange safe transportation to and from events and we encourage all event participants to let event organizers know if a participant does not have a safe mode of transportation. The responsibility of safe transportation , however, still remains with the event participant.  

  3. Discrimination and harassment will not be tolerated in any form, whether in person or virtually, including but not limited to, discrimination based on gender, gender identity and expression, sexual orientation, disability, physical appearance, body size, race, age, religion or any other status protected by Provincial laws of Ontario and Federal laws of Canada.

  4. Harassment includes intentional or unintentional use of abusive, offensive or degrading language, intimidation, stalking, harassing photography or recording, physical contact, sexual imagery and sexual advances or requests for sexual favors which is unwelcome. Participants who are asked to stop any such behavior are expected to comply immediately. Anyone who witnesses or is subjected to such behavior should notify an event organizer at once.

  5. Speakers are not permitted to use language, images, or gestures that would constitute harassment as defined above, in their talks. Speakers should also use inclusive language and should be aware about inclusion, diversity, and unconscious bias.

  6. Individuals who participate ( including those who plan to participate) in the Club events, whether in-person or virtually, are required to conduct themselves in a manner that complies with both the letter and spirit of this Code of Conduct, before, during or after the event.  This includes statements made in social media postings, on-line publications, text messages, and all other forms of electronic communication.

  7. If a participant engages in behavior which violates this Code of Conduct, including postings on social media or other online publications or another form of electronic communication, the event organizers may take any action they deem appropriate depending on the circumstances, ranging from issuance of a warning to the expulsion from the event with no refund, including a temporary or permanent ban from participating in any further Club events. 

If you have any concerns regarding a violation of this Code of Conduct, please contact a member of the event staff immediately. You are also encouraged to contact: ethicstorontorotaract@gmail.com

 
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