Category Archives: Scholars & Mentors

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.

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!

 

Mentor Scholar Mixer Highlights

–submitted by Mary Rouse; Photos by John Bonsett-Veal and Stacy Nemeth

IMG_0207All Rotary Scholars and their mentors were invited to get together prior to the January 8, 2014, Rotary meeting. It is an annual event sponsored by our Club. Mentor Leader Ellie Schatz convened the 11AM meeting.  Twenty-five Scholars and 20 mentors attended this event which opened with a mixer bingo quiz for both groups to provide more opportunities for the students and Rotarians to meet and get to know each other.  Prizes were awarded to the top finishers.

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Photo 1: Lynn Phelps and Juan Becerra; Photo 2: Cristian Claudio Teutli; Photo 3: Wes Sparkman and Melanie Ramey; Photo 4: Karen Bauer and Mike Wilson

Ellie continued the discussion by posing several questions to the entire group for reflections and anecdotes about their experiences, talents and interests. Here are two examples: Scholar Cristian Claudio Teutli  plays the drums and sings.  At the request of group members, he provided spontaneous entertainment by drumming on the table and by singing a song a capella in Spanish.  Another student, Karen Bauer attends UW-Eau Claire and has recently assumed the presidency of an interfaith student organization. 

IMG_0208Dick Lovell  (pictured at left with scholar Karen Bauer) outlined the Rotary Internship Matching Program and encouraged the students to register by January 31, 2014, if they are seeking internships for the summer of 2014.   He also encouraged them to sign up on the Rotary Scholar Mentor Facebook page.

Bob Shumaker, current chair of the Scholarship Committee, presented and narrated a video which was just made about the Mentor Program in 2013.

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Photo 1: Marcy Martinez and Leslie Grendahl; Photo 2: Karl Gutknecht, Nate Brand and Juan Becerra; Photo 3: (back row, from left) Cristian Claudio Teuli, Alex Carrera and Lynn Phelps, (front row, from left): Mike Wilson, Cristian Claudio Teutli, Jordan Johnson and Patty Wilson

The recurring theme of the meeting was how much the Rotary Scholars are valued by our Club members with a focus of making sure they have all the support they need to ensure their graduation.  The meeting adjourned to the weekly Rotary Club luncheon where, once again, the Scholars were welcomed and their graduation from college expected.

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Photo 1: Kody Parman and Dean Nelson; Photo 2: Jordan Johnson and Patty Wilson; Photo 3: Roth Judd and Carlos Solano

Mixer Magic – Rotary Scholars Came Together with Mentors on January 9

–submitted by Ellie Schatz, Rotary Scholar Mentor Committee Chair

Most members of the club are well aware that we have 80 scholarship recipients attending college with our support. But where are they; what are they doing? On January 9, we found out. About 40 scholars and mentors spent an hour learning about each other and sharing their stories. Kyle Gallagher Schmitz graduated in December and has new wheels to show for it, according to mentor Bob Shumaker. From our mixer questionnaires we learned that only Kyle has a motorcycle, only Dick Lovell eats oatmeal for breakfast and Brian Basken eggs!

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(Pictured in 3 photos above from left: Dick Lovell, Danielle Greenfield, Leslie Villarreal, Sharyl Kato, Lin Rohr and Ana Selenske)

The question of how mentors might better help their scholars resulted in the only moment of silence during the whole hour. But when reworded to ask what has a mentor done that you consider awesome, the scholars all seemed anxious to share: Sharyl Kato has been there for Leslie Villarreal day and night. Being that they are neighbors (how did that happen?) Ismat Bhuiyan and Deb Raupp take walks together regularly. Khadim Niang is proud of Tom Popp’s work in Malawi, and Sharyn Alden is proud of Emma Crawford’s trip to help provide dental care in Costa Rica and Nicaragua. Raven Wood likes shopping with Melanie Ramey and Jazzmin Franks thanks Mike and Pat Wilson for finding her a job in the administration office at Madison College.

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(Pictured in 3 photos above from left: Patrick Mather, Ana Selenske, Sergio Becerra-Ramirez, Lily Gonzalez, Jazzmin Franks, Khadim Niang and Kyle Gallagher Schmitz)

We had fun trying to figure out who had traveled the furthest in 2012 and who was born the furthest away from Madison. Ismat thought she might have the record with both her birth and her recent trip back to Bangladesh. Several people thought Mike Wilson, our kiwi, might have it. With no geography expert in the room, neither could claim the prize. Pa Done Yang, born in Thailand, kept her claims for distance silent. She told me she hasn’t been back and instead is seeking scholarships to go to China to find her Hmong people’s roots. Internet research shows Christchurch is about 600 miles further than Dhaka, and although Christchurch has it over Bangkok by a hair, it had to be some distance to the refugee camp. Hats off to all three!

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(Pictured in 3 photos above from left: Juan Becerra, Karl Gutknecht, Kalia Winkle, Pa Done Yang, Julius Starlin and Mike Wilson)

Sergio Becerra-Ramirez thought it unusual that he and Juan Becerra were unrelated and shared a last name. Pa Done Yang and Chie Yang, also unrelated, said that’s not unusual — Yang is a common name in their culture. What they do share is a mentor — me, and I share the common-name syndrome with them, given my maiden name — Smith!   The bottom line: our Foundation scholarship money is being well invested in supporting these scholars. And, the mentors agree that their time is just as well invested. It was indeed Mixer Magic to spend time together with all these scholars and mentors.

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(Pictured in 4 photos above from left: Ismat Bhuiyan, Deb Raupp, Ellie Schatz, Chie Yang, Mary Rouse, Lily Gonzalez, Jazzmin Franks, Club President Wes Sparkman with Ellie Schatz)

Highlights from 6th Annual Rotary Mentor-Scholar Picnic

–submitted by Stu Levitan

About 25 Rotary scholars and their respective club mentors enjoyed themselves at the now-traditional summer picnic at Nate Brand and Regina Millner’s beautiful Fuller’s Woods home on July 15. The kitchen crew of Kevin Hoffman, Mike Hoesly and Jim Ruhly, led by co-chair Gary Peterson braved the sweltering heat to staff the grill, as members supplemented the menu with salads, sides and desserts. Admiral Dick Pearson, who with Noel, hosted the first two Mentor-Scholar picnics, took several groups on tours of mighty Lake Mendota in his deck boat.  A fine time was had by all.

 

 Following are quotes from those attending the picnic:

“Ismat and I had a great time seeing scholars from last year and welcoming new scholars. The food, fellowship, boat ride and hospitality (thanks Nate and Regina) were wonderful! It was good to connect with a couple scholars who were having challenges during their freshman year away from the Midwest. This event allows for both celebration and problem solving.”  —Deb Raupp 

“The beauty of the lake and the gracious hospitality of Regina and Nate provided the perfect setting to celebrate and share with some absolutely amazing young adults! As I left I told my husband, this is another reason why I am grateful to be a Rotarian!”  —Lin Grace Rohr 

“We had a super GREAT time at the picnic and we felt it was the best ever. Leslie loved the opportunity to get to know the other students and she loved the food, the BOAT RIDE and the beautiful home of Regina and Nate!!!! Sharyl loved the opportunity to connect with the other students and other Rotarians as we don’t often have a chance to relax and chat at Wed lunch meetings. Sharyl REALLY loved the food, it all seemed extra yummy this year and special thanks to the “grill guys” who grilled to perfection on such a hot day!! Best, Sharyl Kato