Rotary Club of Scottsdale recently held its annual Youth Recognition Day at The McCormick.
Youth, their parents and advisors were invited to a lunch and program that highlighted the wide variety of youth-related programs the Rotary Club supports. The club’s Youth Programs Chairperson, Wendy Wentz, introduced committee chairs and students present to represent the following club youth-related programs:
* Youth Mentoring: Three high school students and another just starting participate in the club’s mentoring program, which assists high school students prepare for a job, career, or education. Rotary has a wide variety of career choices represented in its membership. Upon being accepted into the program, Rotary will seek members or other professionals who wish to mentor the student and are willing spend one hour being interviewed by the student.
The student will be invited to attend a Rotary meeting with their mentor. Rotary offers high school students an opportunity to learn how to do well in an interview. Recently four students were matched with professionals in the bio-medical, pediatric nutrition, entrepreneur and international business fields.
This program is led by Rotarian, Tony Martino.
* Interact Club: Interact is Rotary International’s service club for young people ages 12 to 18. Interact clubs are sponsored by individual Rotary clubs, which provide support and guidance, but they are self-governing and self-supporting.
The Rotary Club of Scottsdale currently sponsors the Barker Keystone Interact Club at the Barker Branch Boys and Girls Club. This school year each of the 12 interact members averaged 60 hours of community service. This program is led by Rotarian, Kevin Bollinger.
* Youth Salute: Counselors from most of the Scottsdale and Paradise Valley high schools nominated several students from each school to participate in the club’s Youth Salute program.
Every year, Rotarians and members of the education and business community are assembled to read and judge essays submitted by the contestants. Shortly thereafter, an interview night is scheduled where committees of the essay judges conduct oral interviews with the contestants.
This year 12 semi-finalists are selected. These semi-finalists are then announced during the Awards Night at Scottsdale Community College and each of the semi-finalists is given two minutes to answer a “final question” before all gathered.
Four winners are then selected and announced.
The winners receive scholarships and trips to the “Town Meeting on Tomorrow” leadership conference held at George Washington University in St. Louis, Mo.
The program is led by Rotarians, Mary Blank and Mike Savastio.
* RYLA: Rotary holds its Rotary Youth Leadership Award — RYLA — camp at the Salvation Army Camp Ponderosa near Heber, Ariz. Guided by Rotary’s Youth Services philosophy regarding youth, the camp is structured to challenge students to discuss problems confronting today’s youth and to give participating adults the opportunity to listen to their suggestions and devise methods and activities for resolving their concerns.
This year the club sponsored eight high school students to attend RYLA camp. The program is led by Rotarians Coreen Young and David Bertelli.
* Scholarships: Through its foundation, the club annually awards over $50,000 in scholarships to outstanding graduating seniors attending Scottsdale Unified School District high schools.
The scholarship program is a district-wide competition honoring outstanding achievement in different categories, plus the Norval O. Tyler and Bob and Louise McCall Scholarships (which are named after outstanding Rotarians).
The 2015 Club scholarship ($5,000 each –$2,500 for two years) winners were: Athletics: Alexander Stevens, Saguaro High School; Business Plan: Adam Kershner, Desert Mountain High School; Performing Arts: Mary Townsend, Coronado High School; Science-Technology: Mehrek Mohan, Desert Mountain; Vocational-Trade: Elena Bornacini, Desert Mountain; Bob & Louise Visual Arts $10,000: Madeline Markus, Coronado High School; Norval O. Tyler $1,000: Athletics, Christian Gaxiola Coronado High School and Science and Technology, Nina Sharp, Coronado, High School.
The program is led by Rotarians, Charlie Kester and John Campbell.
* Rotary Youth Exchange: Rotary youth exchange students spend the year living in an overseas city with a host family and attending school.
This is a chance to travel and see the world; experience another culture; master a new language; return home having had a life changing experience; and, be hosted by a local Rotary club of business and professionals.
The club’s 2014-15 outbound student is in Germany; the inbound student is from Chile; the 2015-16 outbound students are going to Belgium and Netherlands; and the 2015-16 inbound students are from Netherlands and Germany.
The program is led by Rotarians, Max Rumbaugh and Claudia Arnold-Sawaf.
Additionally, the club supports the Rotary International Peace Fellows Program. Rotary selects some of the world’s most dedicated and brightest professionals to receive fully funded fellowships to study at our Rotary Peace Centers located in the United States, England, Japan, Australia and Sweden.
In just over a decade, the Rotary Peace Centers have trained more than 900 fellows for careers in peace building. Many of them go on to serve as leaders in national governments, NGOs, the military, law enforcement, and international organizations such as the United Nations and World Bank.
Club members who serve on the District Interview Team are Chair Dr. Honora Norton, Roger Rohrs and Scott Miller, joined by Rotary’s District Governor, John Pennypacker.
For more information about Rotary Club of Scottsdale’s upcoming speakers, projects, programs and meeting dates/locations, visit www.scottsdalerotary.org.
Visitors to club meetings are always welcome. Call 480-945-6158.