Community & International Service
Since our chapter was founded in 1927, the Highland Park/Highwood Rotary club has focused on the community and making it a better place. From helping to build the library,  give students an exchange opportunity to helping young mothers and their children with basic needs, we are are deeply rooted here. It has always been "Service Above Self".
The Rotary Club of Highland Park/Highwood is active both locally and internationally. With our motto of Service Above Self, we partner with local not-for-profits to bring essential services to those in need as well as distribute scholarships for high school students in our community seeking further education. Last year we distributed over $35,000.
In addition to our Grant and Scholarship Programs, our club sponsors several HPHS students for the Rotary Youth Leadership Award (RYLA). RYLA gathers those teens across who exhibit qualities of leadership in our area and instill team building and further their leadership qualities for the future with energizing speakers and exercises. 
One program that is exclusive to our club and the Rotary Club of Belfast, Northern Ireland, is Towards A Better Understanding (TABU). This international exchange program brings together teens from the Belfast area to Highland Park and Highwood for a jam packed ten days exploring conflict resolution, and several of the HPHS students travel to Belfast to see how this topic is addressed there.
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In 1990 Mike Shaw, an attorney with a background in arbitration and mediation and Highland Park Rotary member collaborated with the Belfast Rotary Club who was also keen to see how they could have a presence in the recent Peace Agreement in Ireland. This was the start of Towards A Better Understanding or as it is known, TABU.
TABU is an exchange program exclusively between the Belfast and Highland Park/Highwood Rotary clubs. On the even years, six students from the Belfast area come to Highland Park with member of the Belfast Club and spend a busy week experiencing  how conflict and social injustice is handled here. In the odd years, six students from the Highland Park/ Highwood area travel with a few club members to Belfast. The clubs cover the expenses.
Many of the students who had returned from both countries are energized as well as moved by what they saw and experienced. Many have become lawyers, international advocates for peace, human rights and social injustice.
Our 2017 HPHS students with Rev. Goode (instrumental in the Irish Peace Agreement).
Rotary Youth Leadership Awards  (RYLA) is a leadership program coordinated by Rotary Clubs around the world. Each year thousands of young people participate  in this program. Participants from the ages of 13 to 30 are chosen for their leadership potential. The programs are run by each Rotary district. The clubs cover all the expenses for the participants.
RYLA's program aims to demonstrate Rotary's respect and concern for youth; provide an effective training experience for selected youth and [potential leaders; encourage leadership of youth by youth; and recognize publicly young people who are rendering service to their communities
The program covers the fundamentals leadership; ethics of positive leadership; importance of communication skills in effective leadership; problem solving and conflict management; Rotary's purpose and service to community; building self-confidence and self-esteem; elements of community and global citizenship.
Many participants become youth exchange students, Rotaract participants or Ambassadorial Scholars.