The Rotary Club was delighted to welcome Lorelei Higgins to our meeting today, by ZOOM from Calgary, to speak about her experience as a Youth Exchange Student and a Rotary Peace fellow.
Lorelei was welcomed to the meeting by Acting President Gail Halderman, and introduced by Margie Booyens. 
Lorelei began her story with her unforgettable experience as a Rotary Exchange Student (1998-1999) to South Africa, post-apartheid.  She had such a life changing experience that she went on to post secondary education at the University of Alberta, completing a BA majoring in political science and international relations.  She went on to obtain a MBA from Royal Roads University majoring in Executive management and leadership.
She has subsequently gone on to gain experience by serving an internship with the Department of Foreign Affairs and Interantional Trade, in Bolivia and subsequently worked as a team leader and program officer for Ghost River Rediscovery (the NGO for which she interned).  She speaks four languages fluently and is presently emplyed with the City of Calgary, as an Indigenous Relations Strategist.  Her mandate is to develop the City's Indigenous Relations portfolio in light of the 2016 Truth and Reconciliation report.
She spoke about Peace Conversations as a way of getting started.  She attempts to "Increase Connectors and Decrease Dividers".
Lorelei is married with 2 children and is a proud member of the Metis community (she is pictured above with her Metis sash).  She spent time honoring her grandmother for teaching her many of the traditions of her family and that legacy motivates her to pass that along to her children.
As well as her many community service and volunteer activities, she was honored to win the 2021 Mrs. Canada competition.
A wonderful talk, a tremendous personality and incredible energy.  We were honored to have her speak.  A great example of the impact of some Rotary Youth programs, and how they pay dividends down the road.