Category Archives: 6. Youth

Rotary Scholars and Their Mentors Get to Know Each Other –Picnic Style

submitted by Sharyn Alden; photos by Dean Nelson & Karl Wellensiek

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The sun shined brightly July 1st, after a tornado watch lifted, on one of Rotary’s most festive traditions –the annual Rotary Scholar Mentor Picnic held lakeside at the home of Ed and Nancy Young.

There were multiple tables of picnic food choices –segmented further by categories. There were appetizers and salads, a lively grilling station with brats and burgers fresh off the grill, and a dessert table laden with cakes, cookies and luscious chocolate delights.

 

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Beyond the good eats and boat rides, and overall festive atmosphere, what most of us came for was this exceptional opportunity to get to know each other better.

Melanie Ramey, former President of Rotary (1998-1999), a five-time mentor to Rotary scholars, is currently a mentor to Matida Bojang.  Ramey said, “The annual picnic provides a great opportunity for scholars to become better acquainted with their mentors and also meet other scholars with similar academic or cultural backgrounds.”

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This was the second Rotary Scholar Mentor Picnic for Eddie Larson, whose mentor is Majid Sarmadi. Larson, who will be a junior this fall majoring in actuarial science at UW-Madison, said, “Rotary as an organization offers many excellent networking opportunities. But the annual picnic brings together people of so many diverse backgrounds, it’s a terrific venue for meeting and making new friends.”

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Seated at a picnic table, gazing out at Lake Monona, first-time picnic attendee, and scholar, Cassie Ferguson (mentee of this author) said she felt grateful that her aunt, a Rotarian in California, encouraged her to apply for a Rotary scholarship. “I wouldn’t be sitting here today if she hadn’t nudged me,” she said. Ferguson is heading to UW-Stevens Point in August and working at Summit Credit Union this summer.

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She plans to major in early childhood education because she said teachers, from elementary grades through high school had a strong impact on her life. “I want to give back,” she said simply while enjoying the view of the Capitol in the distance.

Conversations like this, at a casual picnic with no specific agenda other than to enjoy yourself, can be stepping stones to planting seeds for life-long friendships between scholars and mentors.

Our thanks to Ed and Nancy Young for hosting this year’s 2018 Scholar Mentor Picnic; to “Picnic Planner” Dean Nelson; Scholar Mentor Committee Co-Chairs Rob Van den Berg & Cheryl Wittke & Chair Emeritus Ellie Schatz and to members of our Kitchen Committee for working their magic at the grill.  The event was a great success! 

 

 

2017 Scholar Mentor Picnic

–submitted by Mary Borland; photos by Dean Nelson & Karl Wellensiek

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The annual Rotary Scholar Mentor picnic was held on Sunday, June 25, from 3 – 6 p.m. at the home of Nancy and Ed Young in Monona.  Thank you, Nancy and Ed!

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Despite fall like weather, all enjoyed camaraderie and wonderful appetizers, salads, brats, hamburgers and desserts.

DSC_0109After we enjoyed dinner, many participated in a first time workshop on finances and financial literacy.  Our club member, Richard Entenmann presented and answered questions.  Richard works for Asset Builders, a nonprofit that conducts training and camps on this important subject.

Visit our Club’s Facebook page for more photos: search “Rotary Club of Madison.”  Or, if you are a member of our club’s Scholar Mentor Committee: search “Madison Rotary Mentor-Scholar Group.”

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Annual Madison Rotary Foundation Scholarship Program

–photo credit to John Bonsett-Veal & Pete Christianson

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The Madison Rotary Foundation has awarded college scholarships totaling $312,000 to 26 graduates from Madison area high schools, and we honored the students, along with their guests, at our May 24 luncheon.

Students who received these scholarships are listed below by donor scholarship fund:

      Robert M. Bolz Scholar: Rahim Ansari
      Nathan F. Brand Scholar: Lydia Starkey
      Frederic Brandenberg Scholar: Evelyn Cuellar
      Harry French Scholars:  Matida Bojang, Paula Gonzalez, Daniel Obi & Alvin Xiong
      Dick Goldberg Scholar: Violeta Calderon
      Perry & Virginia Henderson Scholar: Terence Agee
      Louis Hirsig Scholar: Ivanna Sanchez-Vineuza
      Thomas Leonard Scholar: Wesley Proctor
      Irving & Dorothy Levy Family Scholars: Hawi Bedaso, Allison Bultman, Soulja
Gamble, Justin Lor, Sarah Matejka, Narik Riak, José Rodriguez, Ryia Steps & Liliana
Teniente
      Andrew McBeath Scholars: Kevin Leuaxay & Alfred Lopez-Daniel
      Regina Millner Scholar: Hannah Kwiatkowski
      Synergy Scholar: Symone Booker
      Worzala Family Scholar: Joshua Isenberger
      In addition, we award a two-year scholarship to a student to attend Madison
College. 
Luis Aleman is the 2017 Wilson Scholar.

Our Madison Rotary Foundation Scholarship Committee annually selects students from participating high schools.  The chosen applicants are students with high academic standing and with character and leadership ability who have made contributions to their schools and communities and have financial need.

This year’s group of scholars had the benefit of hearing from a past recipient, Leen Bnyat, a 2013 Levy Famly Scholar who graduated from UW-Madison earlier this month with a degree in Gender & Women’s Studies and certificates in African Studies and Global Health.

We appreciate the efforts of our photographers John Bonsett-Veal and Pete Christianson who provided us with individual and group photos of this year’s recipients.

We sincerely appreciate the donors who have made scholarships possible thorugh the following named funds:  Robert M. Bolz, Nathan F. Brand, Frederic S. Brandenburg, Harry L. French, Dick Goldberg, Perry & Virginia Henderson, Louis Hirsig, Thomas Leonard, Irving & Dorothy Levy Family, Andrew A. McBeath, Regina M. Millner, Mike & Patty Wilson and the Worzala Family – thank you!  We also have our Madison Rotary Foundation Synergy Fund in which anyone can contribute any amount to to help us fund future scholarships.

Our thanks to this year’s Scholarship Committee for the many hours spent on reviewing applications, interviewing students and developing recommendations for this year’s award recipients:  Scott Haumersen, Marci Henderson, Donna Hurd, Robyn Kitson (chair), Oscar Mireles, Stacy Nemeth and Laura Peck. We also thank The Park Hotel for providing complimentary parking for our scholars and their families.

Our congratulations to the 26 students receiving this year’s scholarships and best wishes for success in their college careers!

As always, the awards program is a motivation for all Rotarians to provide financial resources for the Madison Rotary Foundation Scholarship Program.  Anyone wishing to make a donation may send their gift to our MRF Synergy Scholarship Fund, 2 S. Carroll St., Ste. 255, Madison, WI  53703.

2016 Mentor Scholar Winter Mixer Highlights

–submitted by Janet Piraino; photos by Mike Engelberger

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Rotary scholars and their mentors got to enjoy some fun and games at the Mentor-Scholar Mixer at the Hilton before our noon lunch on January 6.  We were prompted to get to know each other a little better by finding people in the room who matched the descriptions on our Mentor-Scholar Bingo sheet.  As a result, we now know who helped their scholar find a job and who likes Caesar salad!

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Jacqui Sakowski shared the importance of offering internships to our scholars, to ensure they have the opportunity to put the their education to use.  We heard a moving story from one of our senior scholars whose internship is helping launch a career in women’s health.  Ellie Schatz handed out applications for the new Kay Family Scholarship Fund  designed to help students who need financial help beyond eight semesters to finish their degrees.

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It was incredibly inspiring to be in a room filled with the next generation of leaders…and the people who are willing to do whatever it takes to help them overcome their challenges and reach their goals.  It made me proud to be a Downtown Rotarian!

 

It Was a Picnic and a Pleasure

–submitted by Maria Alvarez-Stroud; photos by Moses Altsech, Dennis Birke and Stan Kitson

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What a great event for Rotary Scholars and Mentors at the home of Nancy and Ed Young on Sunday, July 26.  As hoped for, the crowd included not only new Scholars heading off to various colleges both in Wisconsin and beyond but also past scholars who have continued to be connected to their mentors and to the Downtown Rotary Club.

IMG_0444As intended, the main focus was good conversation and tasty food.  For the Scholars, the picnic gave them the opportunity to get to know each other a bit more and compare notes about their plans for first years at college.  It was terrific to see multiple groups just chatting away, sometimes amongst themselves other times with their mentors at their side.  And for the Mentors, especially those that are new at this, what a great time to hear and see the kind of bonds that can be created.

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With well over 90 in attendance, kitchen committee members had their work cut out for them.  But Mentors did a good job in providing snacks, salads and desserts to compliment the hamburgers and brats provided.

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Dick Pearson and Ed Young were of course busy providing boat rides around Lake Monona.  And a couple of us were fortunate enough to actually arrive and leave by Dick’s boat; highly recommended, as he is a fabulous tour guide.

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Thanks much to Nancy and Ed for letting such a large group of people take over their back yard and for their gracious hospitability.

Annual Madison Rotary Foundation Scholarship Program on May 27, 2015

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The Madison Rotary Foundation has awarded college scholarships totaling $280,000 to 24 graduates from Madison area high schools, and we honored the students, along with their guests, at our May 27 luncheon.

Students who received these scholarships are listed below by donor scholarship fund:

Nathan F. Brand Scholar: Riley Boyce
Frederic S. Brandenberg Scholar: Jariah James
Harry L. French Scholars: Sophia Chadli, Andrew Jiang, Kristjana Hrovat & Drake Singleton
Dick Goldberg Scholar: Alyssa Ivy
Perry & Virginia Henderson Scholar: Michael Brown
Louis Hirsig Scholar: Oliva Combs
Thomas Leonard Scholar: Kaleb Beining
Irving & Dorothy Levy Family Scholars: Brandon Alvarez-Carrera, Aminata Bojang, Katherine Casey, Elizabeth Doty, Lena Lee, Susan Mwai, Joshua Phillips & Paige Talerico
Andrew A. McBeath Scholars: Olive Earley & Andrea Zavala
Regina M. Millner Scholar: Lucy Ji
Synergy Scholar: Taylor Westfall-McCoy
Worzala Family Scholar: Tenzin Kunsel
Wilson Two-Year Scholar: Deaven Carney Wiedmer

Our Madison Rotary Foundation Scholarship Committee annually selects students from each high school in accordance with the wishes of the donors.  The chosen applicants are students with high academic standing and with character and leadership ability who have made contributions to their schools and communities and have financial need.

This year’s group of scholars had the benefit of hearing from a past recipient, Kristy Juno, who received Frederic Brandenburg scholarship in 2009.

The Rotary Club of Madison and the Madison Rotary Foundation wish to thank the members of the Scholarship Committee for their hard work in selecting this year’s recipients: Bob Shumaker (chair), Donna Hurd, Robyn Kitson, Oscar Mireles, Tom Popp, Ellie Schatz, Wes Sparkman, and Cheryl Weston.  We also thank Rotarians who will be serving as mentors to these scholars during their upcoming college years.

We appreciate the efforts of our photographer John Bonsett-Veal who provided us with a group photo of this year’s recipients.

As always, the awards program is a motivation for all Rotarians to provide financial resources for the Madison Rotary Foundation Scholarship Program.

Our congratulations to the 24 students receiving this year’s scholarships and best wishes for success in their college careers!

Rotary Scholars Attended Winter Mixer and Rotary Luncheon on January 7

–submitted by Ellie Schatz; photos by Jeff Smith

From left: Scholars Brett Stratton, Hloua Vang

From left: Scholars Brett Stratton, Gregorio Abrajan & Hloua Vang

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.

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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.

Scholars Karen Bauer & Cristhian Hernandez

Scholars Karen Bauer & Cristhian Hernandez

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.