Local rotarians welcomed an 18-year-old native of Scotland last week during the organization’s regular breakfast meeting.
Findley Malcolm, who is a recipient of the Georgia Rotary Scholarship, spoke to a crowd of more than 60 at the gathering Jan. 7.
Dawson and Lumpkin rotary clubs and the Dahlonega Sunrise Rotary are putting Malcolm through two semesters at North Georgia College & State University.
Dawson County Rotary Club President Will Wade said Malcolm was chosen by the Rotary Foundation through Rotary International, a parent organization to local chapters.
During a brief speech to the Dawson club, Malcolm said he was “honored to have been chosen” for the scholarship.
He plans to return to Scotland in May after a final semester at college.
Malcolm said college life in America is a little different than he imagined. “I thought college life would be constant partying,” he said, “which is OK for some people. But it’s a nice environment here.”
He said American acquaintances have been welcoming.
“It’s nice to see all these down-to-earth people,” he said. “The friendliness of the people here is amazing.”
John Packard of Dawson County is a host parent to Malcolm during his stay in the states. Packard explained the role of a host parent.
“We’re the mom and dad away from home,” Packard said. “We provide transportation if he needs it, or we arrange transportation for him. We give him guidance as to what he needs to do or stay away from ... we’re a place for him to go in case he gets ill or just wants a break from school for a while.”
It’s not the first time the Packard Family has played host to students for the Georgia Rotary Student Program. Four years ago, they helped a Swedish student get acquainted with the area.
Malcolm said he has enjoyed his stay overall. While he looks forward to going back to Scotland in August, it’s bittersweet.
“I’m going to do my finals, maybe travel a bit more, then I’ve got to head back home and actually get a job.”