My NGSE adventure in Arizona – Perrine Faucon

I arrived in Phoenix on June 15  after a long discussion with Lori Howard, an former E-club Rotarian who is now living in the South of France and a member of the Marazin Rotary Club in Aix en Provence. My goals for the exchange were to improve my English, discover new cultures and engage in various professional experiences. Hence, I have been very well welcomed by Sheila Breen, the Founding President of the Arizona e-Club and my host for this 2-month exchange.


After my arrival, the adventures began quickly as a New Generation Student Exchange!

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Different experiences and activities were organized for me. First, I worked with the Empower Charter school in Phoenix where I helped the administrators and the office managers with the students’ registrations. Empower Charter school is a non-profit school which welcomes low-income students from the 3rd grade to the 10th grade. It was very interesting for a French student who graduated only a few years ago to discover how an American charter school works.

Next, I had experience in a different field: The Marshall Art Gallery in Scottsdale. As a student who has always been in the textile and scientific domain, being in this context was an eye-opening experience about how this kind of business works. It was also a way to understand the American tastes and feelings about art in comparison to French people.


My adventure will continue over the next two weeks as I work with the Arizona Town Hall, which is a non-profit organization that brings diverse people together to discuss critical and often divisive policy issues related to the government, and propose solutions. I will help develop online videos and printed materials, as well as photograph a  discussion with High School students in Kingman. The opinions of the students will be incorporated into a larger report after other community discussions have been held.




Of course I have visited a lot of places around and away from Phoenix ! You can see the attached map of our 15-day trip: Las Vegas, Zion National Park, Bryce Canyon , the North Rim of the Grand Canyon, the Escalante Valley and Boulder Mountain, Santaquin, Utah, the Uinta Mountains of northeastern Utah and southern Wyoming, in an around Evanston. We also visited Arcosanti, Wickenburg, Bumblebee and will drive to Sedona this weekend …. And I went to California by myself.


Between activities, I was also invited by Mo Bronson, member of the Rotary Phoenix 100 club, to attend a luncheon of local people who get together and speak French. It was a very nice lunch at Vincent’s and I enjoyed talking with the people there. Mo Bronson also made a connection for me with Jesse Curley, who is President of SUPIMA, a company that provides Long Staple Cotton. My major is Textile Engineering, so this was a great connection for me. Sheila and I have also been invited to fly in a hot air balloon with Rotarian Randy Long, pilot and owner of AZ Balloon Safaris, and will do that on August 11th. We also sorted medical supplies for Project CURE and distributed food from St. Mary’s Food Bank at a church in south Phoenix. Thank to Amy Pope, a 23 year old NGSE who was in France in February, I attended a game of the Arizona Diamondbacks in Phoenix, and met new people.   Afterward, PDG Craig Wilson and Mary invited me to their home for the weekend and took me on a jeep ride in the desert, then shopping in Carefree. It was so much fun!
I am so happy to be here and it’s an first-of-its-kind experience  for me, so I would really like thank Sheila and the Rotary Arizona e-Club for the welcome!



Author: Aaron Fritz

Joined Rotary in 1999. Past President of the Highlands Ranch Rotary Club, Charter Member of the Rotary Club of Castle Pines, Past President of the Rotary eClub of Arizona, Past Assistant Governor for District 5490 and current Assistant Governor for District 5495. Multiple Paul Harris Fellow (3 currently). 2nd Generation Rotarian.

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