–submitted by Ellie Schatz; photos by Jeff Smith
UW System President Ray Cross addressed our club on Wednesday, January 7, with our need as a state to capitalize on the talents of our youth for leadership and security in the future obviously a theme of his talk. And, sitting in his audience were 25-30 Rotary Scholars, freshmen through seniors, the epitome of why we should have hope, if only we put our resources and attentions in the right place. Politics aside, Rotary does just that.
Photo 1: Ted Ballweg & Scholar Hloua Vang; Photo 2: Roth Judd & Scholar Aria Guglielmina; Photo 3: From left: Scholar Victoria Cooper, Maggie Peterman, Nancy Young & Brett Stratton
Before we even got to lunch and that talk, more than 50 people with diverse backgrounds, goals, and professions spent an hour talking, laughing, and connecting. We learned silly things such as the fact that Dick Lovell (still) eats oatmeal for breakfast and Melanie Ramey knows Japanese but don’t ask her to tutor you in it. On the more serious side we learned about dreams— Brett Stratton intends to learn Portuguese; and accomplishments—Karen Bauer is a McNair Fellow headed for study abroad in Ecuador this coming Monday.
In addition to talk time, two important announcements were made: 1) Juniors and seniors can apply for the Kay Scholarship, new in 2015, if they have need for a boost beyond their 8-semester scholarship support, and 2) A new database is being launched to help match any of them with internships and job opportunities as they move toward their goals of graduation and realizing their dreams, big and little.
Thank you to all our mentors and scholarship donors who are helping these scholars succeed. It is an inspiration to talk with so many of them every January and feel the power and goodwill that fills that room.