Special Thank you to Cindy Hornaman, District Governor 7430 who open the General Session Meeting for ESSEX (Eastern States Student Exchange Program) in King of Prussia on January 12th, 2019 and made it an official meeting!       
For those of you that don't know who ESSEX is - a Multi-District Rotary organization that organizes both long-term and short-term Rotary exchange for 34 Rotary International Districts.   ESSEX works with 16 States in the Eastern USA, Bermuda and Quebec Canada and exchanges with over 30 countries worldwide.    ESSEX meets Bi-annual per their by-laws in one of the member Districts.    District 7430 has been a member of ESSEX since it was founded in 1966.
In January we met in King of Prussia where 29 of the 34 Districts were in attendance.     Patti and Ron Smith were representatives for District 7430.    Many items were covered including Scholarship for students, review of Insurance and travel coverage, the YEAH database, Compliance issues, reports form the Inbound, Outbound, Short term and Country Contact Coordinators and much more.       Sessions were held on Outbound Orientation, Short term Program, Ask a Country Contact, Yeah Database and an awesome Skype presentation by an Youth Exchange Officer from Canada about the 6 B'... a great orientation/training session tool for students in preparation for exchange.    But most importantly and where most of the ideas are discussed and shared is in the hospitality suite.      The meeting started Friday night and ended Saturday night with an International Banquet.     A presentation from BELO USA Tours was presented, Saturday night, of our students on the West Coast Trip from 2017-18.    This Tour is definitely something we should continue encouraging our student to participate in if they can afford it....A great way to end their awesome year.
Essex meetings are a great way to share ideas, understand what's new and what's happening in the world of youth exchange, coming from the mouth of those working in the field.       
The next ESSEX meeting will be held on July 19-21, 2019 at State College PA...  details will be posted on the Essex website in the coming months, visit www.exchangestudent.org