The 2008 Float Riders are Rotary Youth Exchange Students

Students visit Huntington Beach, CA

Fernando Florez is from Argentina and arrived early this year in February and will return home a few days after the Rose Parade. What a great way to finish his exchange. In his free time, he enjoys playing the saxophone, either solo or as part of the school’s band. He lives and attends High School in Westlake Village and loves it. He is hosted by the Rotary Club of Westlake Village Sunrise. Back in Argentina, he will go to college to study Public Relations and he’s really excited about that.

Valerie Hurard is a Youth Exchange student from Asuncion, Paraguay where her father is president of the Rotary club. She is jointly hosted by the Rotary Club’s of Los Angeles 5 and Wilshire in District 5280. Valerie who is a senior at Pacific Hills School in West Hollywood, is very friendly loves to go to parties and to meet new people. When she returns to Paraguay, Valerie plans to attend college and study to be a flight attendant or an electronic engineer.

Norbert Karoly is from Cegled, Hungary and is eighteen years old. He is a Rotary Exchange student studying at Coronado High School. His two primary interests in life are school and water polo. In Hungary, he has a 4.63 out of 5.00 GPA. Norbie played club water polo on the Hungarian Junior National team, however, they are not so fortunate in Hungary to have a high school league and he enjoys this very much. His dream is to attend college in the United States receiving a degree in business. This year as a Rotary Exchange student, he intends to master English and obtain a better understanding of the American people, culture and politics.

Hanae Nakamura is from Rotary District 2790 in Japan. She is 18 years old, and parents are both teachers. She has one younger brother and two younger sisters. Her host club is Big Bear Lake Rotary in District 5330. She is enjoying America, especially the food, weather, customs, and people. When she first arrived in August, it was very difficult for her to understand English. It was even harder to speak correctly, but it is getting easier all the time. Being on the Rotary International Rose Parade Float is really exciting for her. She says “I love my life in the U.S.A.!”

Pearl Shimoomba is from Zambia, Africa. She is 16 years old and is being hosted by the Rotary club of Pomona in District 5300. She attends Bonita High School, and her interests are music, swimming, law and forensic sciences. She is really enjoying her youth exchange year here in the USA and hopes to return to attend college. She says “It is quite a honor to be a participant on the Rotary International float in the Rose Parade.”

Rémi Vandaele is from the city of Croix in Northern France. He is 18 years old and is hosted by the Rotary Club of San Luis Obispo de Tolosa. His passions are tennis, soccer, water and winter sports, music and friends. He wants to travel all around the world. He is active all the time and enjoys improving his foreign languages. After his exchange year, he will study Hotel Management in Paris.

Denisse Villafuerte is from the city of Esmeraldas in Ecuador and is 17 year old. She has an older sister and a younger brother. She enjoys modeling and swimming and her favorite music is Salsa. She goes to Adolfo Camarillo High School. After she graduates, she plans to attend Medical School to become a Cardiologist. She is hosted by the Rotary Club of Camarillo in Rotary District 5240.

David Wang is from Bejing, the capital of China. He is 17 years old. David is hosted by the Rotary Club of Huntington Beach and is studying at Huntington Beach High School.

The Rotary Rose Parade Float is not an official Rotary International program.