Category Archives: 6. Youth

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.

 

Our Club Distributed $24,350 in Youth Awards and $240,000 in College Scholarships to Local High School Students in May 2014

2014 Youth Awards

45th Annual Rotary Youth Awards Program on May 14, 2014

On May 14, the Rotary Club of Madison honored 46 Madison high school students who received Rotary certificates and cash awards totaling $24,350 to recognize their scholastic achievements and contributions to the Madison community.  Awards were made in the following categories:

The $600 Rotary Senior Academic Achievement Awards for top scholarship were presented to Katie Alley from Memorial High School; Emmett Geisler from La Follette High School; Catherine Paulson from West High School; Megan Schomaker from Edgewood High School;  and Cora Wiese Moore fromEast High School.

Receiving $1,400 awards for their participation in Community Service Projects were Teresa Baymon from East High School; Adrian Conner from East High School; Alyssa Diaczun from Memorial High School; Desirae Fisher from East High School; Benjamin Gellman from Memorial High School; and Mathias Lemos Castillo at West High School.

Six sophomores receive the 12th annual $200 Wilson Sophomore Academic Improvement Awards for outstanding improvement in academic progress while in high school: Justin Collins from West High School; Sonam Dolma from Memorial High School; Shalita Hood from Shabazz City High School; Dakotah Kane from Edgewood High School; Ryan Lee from East High School; and Steven Mey from La Follette High School.

Junior Academic Improvement Awards were given to the following students in the amount of $200: Jamaine Butler from Memorial High School; Jack L’Heureux from Edgewood High School; Cortez McCree from La Follette High School; Arely Olguin from East High School; Noah Oswald from Shabazz City High School; and Era Zeka  from West High School.

Six students received $400 awards for Senior Academic Improvement while in high school: Sheniqua Bumpers from West High School; Nathan Graham from East High School; Dominic Hillestad from Shabazz City High School; Nicholas Kanoff from Edgewood High School; Tatiana Segura from La Follette High School; and Jonathan Tapia-Carrillo from Memorial High School

Samuel Shovers from Memorial High School received the $500 Fay J. Meade Community Service Award for use in furthering his education.

Five students received Outstanding Senior Awards for academic achievement, leadership and community service: Jeremy Gartland from Memorial High School; Nathaniel Graham from Edgewood High School; Shoshaunah Jacob from West High School; Khaleah Monger from La Follette High School; and Isabella Newman from East High School.

For their role in the selection process, the following students received $130 University Book Store gift certificates and were honored for serving as Community Service Award Judges: Abbigail Cotter from La Follette High School; Anna Fallon from Edgewood High School; Connor Gregorich-Trevor from Memorial High School; Raphaella Hurd from West High School; and Brennan Murphy from East High School.

Five students were selected to attend the Rotary Youth Leadership Awards Conference, and their $200 participation cost was provided by our Madison Rotary Foundation: Ari Davis from West High School; Henry Gaylord from East High School; Julia LaBonte from Edgewood High School; Naomi Makesa from Memorial High School; and Robin Mwai from La Follette High School.

Congratulations to each of these students, and we wish them well in all their future endeavors!

Our thanks to Youth Awards Committee Chair Scott Strong and the following program presenters: Moses Altsech, Richard Entenmann, Kathryne McGowan, Elaine Mischler, Stacy Nemeth, Katie Ryan, Jessica Schock, Tim Stadelman and Nancy Young.   We also thank John Bonsett-Veal for serving as photographer.

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Annual Madison Rotary Foundation Scholarship Program

The Madison Rotary Foundation has awarded college scholarships totaling $240,000 to 23 graduates from Madison area high schools, and we honored the students, along with their guests, at our May 28 luncheon.

Students who received these scholarships are listed by donor:

Nathan F. Brand Scholar: Austin Coppernoll
Frederic Brandenberg Scholar: Shamell Long-Homesly
Harry L. French Scholars: Gregorio Abrajan, Victoria Cooper, Laura Her, Lilian Kenitz, Hloua Vang
Perry & Virginia Henderson Scholar: Eleazar Wawa
Louis Hirsig Scholar: Samuel Park
Thomas Leonard Scholar: Ayla Hammill
Irving & Dorothy Levy Family Scholars: Iffat Bhuiyan, McKenna Crossen, Anna Grassy, Irene Katana, Mathias Lemos Castillo, Jo-Nathan Wesley, Shaneice White
Andrew McBeath Scholars: Tenzin Chonzin, Marie Nofodji
Regina M. Millner Scholar: Brett Stratton
Synergy Scholar: Gabriel Gugielmina
Mike & Patty Wilson Scholar: Dale Blassingame
Worzala Family Scholar: Caroline Liu

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.

DSC_0001This year’s group of scholars had the benefit of hearing from a past recipient, Amadou Fofana (pictured at left), who received an Andrew McBeath scholarship in 2008.

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), Robyn Kitson, Regina Millner, Tom Popp,Ellie Schatz, Wes Sparkman, Cheryl Weston and David Worzala.  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 23 students receiving this year’s scholarships and best wishes for success in their college careers!

 

NAYEN: North American Youth Exchange Network; Cancun, Mexico: March 5-8, 2014

–submitted by John Bonsett-Veal

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My wife, Jan, and I recently attended a Rotary International Youth Exchange function, NAYEN 2014.  Jan will be assuming a leadership role as District 6250 Youth Exchange Chair in July.  As such, Jan wanted an opportunity to become more immersed in the protocols of Rotary Youth Exchange at the NAYEN conference.  While we were there, I was invited to help train the facilitators for the Multi-District Central States Youth Exchange conference this summer for the Rotarians who will be helping the returning rebound students cope with reverse culture shock.  Hopefully, we can give them a better ability to act as ambassadors of their former host countries to their home communities here in the United States.

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(Photo 1:  Stages of youth exchanges, cultural adaptation and reaction; Photo 2:  A cooperation workshop making towers out of spaghetti noodles and marshmallows)

The conference lasted from late Wednesday through early Sunday and addressed safety protocols, culture shock, conflict resolution and how to improve the experience of all our youth before, during and after their exchange experience.  During our time there we attended seminars, plenary sessions and workshops.  We met others of the 410 attendees from over 23 countries.  Social activities occupied the evenings.  We also had the pleasure of connecting with the former Youth Exchange Student to Oregon, Wisconsin, from Cancun, Carlos, as well as his parents and sister.  Carlos’ father, also Carlos, is the President of the Rotary Club of Cancun…  It is a small world.

The single most inspiring aspect of the conference was seeing the passion that is shared around the world by and for our Youth Exchange Ambassadorial Students.  We learned of many stories and shared our international cultures with others throughout the five days we were in Cancun.  Rotary… A positive influence the world around!

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“Selfy” photo from left: Carlos’ mother, Jan, John and Carlos.

Rotary Club of Madison Welcomes UW & Edgewood Rotaract Clubs on March 5 2014

–article submitted by Mark Stover; photos by Moses Altsech and Jeff Smith

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The Downtown Rotary Club of Madison, WI got a glimpse of the future on Wednesday,March 5.  Students from the Rotaract Clubs of Edgewood College and UW-Madison took over the helm and the program.  Rotarians heard details about how the Rotaract Clubs got started, what they’ve been working on this year, and their respective plans for the future.

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Cory Kundert, President of the Edgewood College Rotaract explained that the word “Rotaract” is a mash-up of the words “Rotary” and “Action.”  True to the Rotary spirit, Rotaract members are all about taking action in showing how they live “Service Above Self.”

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The Edgewood College club members volunteer to support our Ethics Symposium, the American Cancer Society’s Relay for Life and Gilda’s Club.  They also support the good work of other groups like the Heifer Foundation, Combat Blindness International and Badger Honor Flight with fundraisers.

Brittni Palkert, President of the UW-Madison Rotaract Club, told a similar story about her group’s work.  The UW-Madison Rotaract Club got started as a merger of the International Student Business Association on campus with the Rotaract Club concept.  Members of the UW-Madison club volunteer in support of Wisconsin Public Television Pledge Drives; work with senior citizens in the Triangle area of Madison; and also support Relay for Life.

Brittni also mentioned work that the UW-Madison Club has done with a connection to an AIDS support group in Harare, Zimbabwe.  Fundraisers in Madison have gone to help students with AIDS in Africa attend trade schools and colleges so that they can become financially independent.  Contact Brittni if you’re interested in a yoga fundraiser they have going this spring!

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Both Presidents pointed out that the value of Rotaract has been to help their members gain skills and hone talents that are useful in their vocations.  Leadership and teamwork are critical components of keeping these self-managed groups operating effectively.  In a video of former Rotaractors from both clubs, this theme of preparing for professional lives came through for the former treasurer of the Madison club (now a financial analyst for Kohl’s Corporation).

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Finally, hats off to Dan Larson, Moses Altsech, Dick Pearson, and Jacqui Sakowski for the many hours of support they have provided to the two clubs.  Our Rotary and global future looks very bright indeed based on the people we met today.

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What is Rotaract?  Rotaract is a club for adults ages 18-30 that meets twice a month to exchange ideas, plan activities and projects, and socialize. While Rotary clubs serve as sponsors, Rotaract clubs decide how to organize and run their club and what projects and activities to carry out.  Our Rotary Club sponsors two clubs – one at the UW-Madison that was formed in 2002, and one on the Edgewood College campus that was formed in 2008.

Rotaract clubs organize local hands-on service projects, they have fun networking and social activities, they provide professional development opportunities for their members, and they have an international network of young leaders.

If you are interested in becoming more involved in our Rotary Club’s Rotaract Advisory Committee, contact the Rotary office to sign up (rotaryoffice@rotarymadison.org or 255-9164).