District 7780's Peace Scholar candidate, one of 50 winners of the Peace and Conflict Resolution Scholarship chosen by Rotary International this year, will speak to the Rotary Club of South Portland-Cape Elizabeth.  Cassandra Varanka will talk about her work in Washington on Nuclear Disarmament and Peace and how it helped her land the coveted Rotary scholarship to continue her peace studies beginning in early 2023.  Rotarians and friends from throughout the District and beyond are invited to join Club members over Zoom to hear Cassandra's talk about her good work and the road to becoming a Peace Scholar.  This talk will be inspirational for Interactors and other young people so invite them to register as well.

Speaker: Cassandra Varanka, a Peace Scholar Winner, will share her road to winning this coveted prize.
When:  Wed., Jan. 19, 6:30-7:30 p.m. via Zoom
Sponsor: South Portland-Cape Elizabeth RC, District 7780 Foundation Committee
To receive the Zoom link, register for this event (free) on the District website, https://rotary7780.org/event/rotary-peace-scholar-cassandra-varanka/ or send an email to John LoBosco at coveforward@gmail.com
Please register now for this event.  Zoom sign on information will be sent to registrants as we get closer to the event. All are welcome.
Chosen from 600 applicants across the globe, Cassandra will study at the University of Queensland's (Australia) Rotary Centre for International Studies. She was nominated first by the Bridgton-Lake Region Rotary Club and then interviewed, endorsed and submitted as a candidate by District 7780.
The fellowship, worth more than $75,000, will fully fund tuition and fees, room and board, round-trip transportation, and all internship and applied field study expenses. Each year the Rotary Peace Fellows begin an 18-month program of study. Fellows are selected from countries and cultures around the globe, based on their prior experience in peacebuilding and their potential for future leadership roles in conflict resolution. In Cassandra’s case she has had extensive policy experience in nuclear disarmament as a congressional aide, and in leadership positions at Foreign Policy for America and Women’s Actions for New Directions. Her goal is to use newly acquired skills to forward the use of diplomatic rather than military solutions for conflict resolution.

Bob Gravino, District 7780 Foundation Committee Rotary Peace Scholars Subcommittee Chair, and a major advocate of the Peace Center Program, remarked recently that Cassandra Varanka represents the best attributes that Rotary is seeking in a Peace Scholar applicant. He also reminded us that funding through the RI Foundation is an excellent example of how our individual and club contributions come back to us in the form of funding projects Rotarians support such as Peace Fellows, Polio Plus, District Grants and Global Grants – a strong example to help us Connect the Dots.
For more information about this program, check out https://www.rotary.org/en/our-programs/peace-fellowships