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Club Hosts Dominican Study Exchange


October 23, 2012

BENNINGTON - The Bennington Rotary Club hosted a group of young professionals as part of Rotary International's Group Study Exchange program. Ranging in age from 25-34, this group was from the Dominican Republic and included a Rotarian Group Leader, Melvin Brioso Zapata, and three interesting young professionals.

Zapata is currently the assistant district governor of his Rotary region. Elizabeth Mateo Perez is an attorney and political activist and was recently admitted to the Global Shapers Community of the World Economic Forum. Wilson Acosta holds a master's degree in agrobiotechnology and works in Santo Domingo's Ministry of Agriculture as an inspector.

His family also owns a cocoa farm in Guananico, Puerto Plata. Carmen Feliz holds a double Master's Degree and is currently working in management and negotiation of domestic and international purchases for a large contracting firm. In addition to their strong educational background, all of these young people are extremely active in volunteer work, serving their communities in a range of activities and causes. Melvin's Rotary Club has a project called "Rotary City" which is comprised of a rural clinic, an K12 school, a computer lab, church and basketball court. This project serves many of the underprivileged youth and families of the area.

While visiting Bennington, the group stayed with their Rotarian host families (Club President Kristin Reed, Bob Brower, Jerry Albert and Dave O'Brien). Bob Brower was responsible for touring the visitors throughout the area, during which they had an opportunity to visit both SVC and Bennington College, along with various historical sites within the Bennington area.

Despite the cold and windy weather, Rotarian Jane Radocchia kindly took the group on an interesting walking tour of Old Bennington, explaining the architecture of the homes along Monument Avenue, ending with a bit of the architectural history of the Old First Church. The group also met with three Rotary Interact Students - Hayley Barriere, MaKenzie Wicks and Hannah Patterson - who helped to greet them during their welcome dinner.

The group ended their stay in Bennington by giving a presentation at the Catamount Rotary Club's meeting on Tuesday morning.

The Bennington area is fortunate to have two clubs, including the Bennington Rotary Club that meets at 12:15 p.m. on Fridays at the Bennington Station, and the Catamount Rotary Club which meets on Tuesday mornings at 7:15 a.m. at the Mt. Anthony Country Club.

Bennington Banner Staff
Compliments of: The Bennington Banner

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