District 5495 Youth Services News

Washington High School Interact Club scholarship recipients were recently treated to lunch by members of the Rotary Club of Sun City. The club received a number of personal thank-you notes from recipients thanking the club for its continued support of the school's Interact Club.

Submitted by: Dr. Honora Norton, RCSL Public Image Director

The Rotary Club of Sun Lakes (RCSL) supported the A World in Motion (AWIM) program, which was created by the Society of Automotive Engineers Foundation to get elementary students excited about math and science in support of Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM.)

Two different competitions were held a Chandler Unified School District Fulton Elementary School.  Ten different classes at Fulton Elementary School worked in design teams to build, test, and race model balloon powered JetToy Cars and Gravity Cruiser Vehicles.   The JetToy cars were required to meet specific criteria to travel far and go fast. Jet propulsion, friction, air resistance, and design were the core scientific concepts students explored in this challenge. The Cruiser Gravity Vehicles design concepts included forces, Newton’s Laws of Motion, gravity, and engineering design,

On May 16 and 19, 2022 each competing class raced in the preliminaries where the top three teams in each class were awarded gold, silver, and bronze medals. Following the class races, the first-place winners raced for the Final Top Race Award. The medals were presented by RCSL/AWIM volunteers.  The RCSL AWIM Committee included RCSL President Jon Lyons, Club Event Chair Don Robins, and Rotarians/AWIM volunteers: Bill Giessing, Stan Klein, Bill Klein, Gary Kay, Ana Logan, Bill Crump, Val Crump, and ASU Polytechnic students Lauren Castillo ND Mikayla Castillo.  The Committee members, who are residents of San Tan Valley, Sun Lakes, and Chandler, were on site for weeks at the school to assist the students with the design, building, and testing their vehicles.

RCSL wishes extends a special thank you to the school’s faculty for letting RCSL to bring AWIM Program to Fulton Elementary School again.  All those involved noted that it is always a wonderful experience for the students. An updated school award plaque will be presented to Fulton Elementary Principal Shannon Hannon for placement in the school trophy bookcase for everyone to enjoy throughout the school year.

For more information about RCSL Education Programs and/or membership, see www.sunlakesrotary.com.

Several District 5495 Rotaract members were awarded Paul Harris Fellowships during the District Conference held May 13-14 in Prescott.
 
The fellowship is one of the highest honors in Rotary, and the Rotaractors were recognized for their work in establishing a State Rotaract Council this past year.
 
Recognized were Acacia Wastchak, Dora Lee., Jodi Beatrix Corrales, Valeria Gutierrez, Bridget MacDonald, Colton Cagle, and Leslie Balderas.
The winners of the 2022 Coronado Interact Club essay contest were announced at Coronado High School.  Twenty-four students submitted their creative writings on the topic, “what does ‘Service Above Self’” mean to me.
 
Many of the essays included very personal and heartwarming examples of “Service Above Self” and of their learning experiences at a young age on the importance of serving others who have greater needs than they have. 
 
Tom Mayer, the Rotary member who serves as the liaison with the Coronado Interact Club, officiated over the award ceremony. First place went to Kiara Bonner who received a $200 Visa gift card from the Rotary Club of Scottsdale.  Sara Aguilar received a $150 gift card for her second-place finish, and a gift card valued at $100 went to Mirna Macedo Gomez for her third-place entry. 
 
Receiving special recognition for his Honorable Mention essay was Malcolm James who received a $25 gift card.
 
All the entries were outstanding.  As a result, names of five students who submitted entries were randomly drawn and given a fresh new $10 bill.
 
In selecting the winners, the essays went through a double screening process.  First, members of the Rotary Club of Scottsdale identified the top six essays.   Then a second team of judges chose the final winners.  
 
Scottsdale community leader and professional writer Joan Fudela; Jeannette Griswold, the first woman president of the Rotary Club of Scottsdale; and Rotarian Tom Mayer served as the final judges. 
 
Joan Fudela’s comment after reading the essays was, “thank you for allowing me to be inspired by the next generation of community leaders and those who are already putting ‘Service Above Self!’  Our community and nation will be in good hands.”
 
The Coronado teachers supporting this essay contest and ensuring its success were Dr. JoAnn Markette, English teacher; Ian Stephan, Interact Club teacher advisor; and Serenity Ruiz, Interact Club teacher co-advisor.
 
The Rotary Club of Scottsdale is one of 46,000 clubs in the world having a total of 1.4 million individual members.  Each of those members are committed to providing “Service Above Self.”   It is hoped that some of the essay writers will someday become Rotarians and all will be inspired to give service to their community during their lifetime.  
 
Interact is a junior Rotary club for high school students.   There are Interact clubs at each of the Scottsdale Unified School District high schools. 

The Rotary Club of Sun Lakes (RCSL) extends congratulations to the winners of the Rotary Club’s Annual 2022 High School Service Above Self Scholarships to:

* Sydney Braaten:  Sydney will graduate from Chandler Unified School District's Gilbert’s Perry High School after attending the high school all four years.  She has attended Chandler Unified Schools since kindergarten.  Sydney has held a variety of officer positions during her high school career including President of the Sparrow Club, Vice-President of “Women in Stem,” and Public Relations Officer for “Skills USA.” 

She is widely involved in community service organizations throughout Chandler including AZCEND, YMCA, Relay for Life, Sharing Down Syndrome and Feed My Starving Children to name just a few.  Sydney plans to attend University of Arizona in the Fall majoring in Microbiology and Business to pursue dentistry.  She is well on her way - having already achieved her Associates Degree through the dual enrollment classes taken at Perry.

Imaging Brockman:  Imaging will graduate from CUSD Gilbert’s Perry High School after attending the high school all four years.  She served as President of the Gilbert Lions-Leo Club and the Puma Pals this final year of her high school career and served her community in a variety of ways with multiple community organizations.  Most recently, she was instrumental in planning and coordinating the Prom event for Perry’s Special Needs students.  She is graduating in the top 5% of her class (Summa Cum Laude) and plans to attend Northern Arizona State University studying Psychology with the goal of becoming an Applied Behavioral Analyst

Brooklyn Acton-Myers: Brooklyn will graduate from CUSD Queen Creek’s Camille Casteel High School where she has been attending since 7th grade. She has attended Chandler Unified Schools since kindergarten.  She has served as the Team Captain for both the 2020 and 2021 season for Top Gun Cheer.  Brooklyn has spent the bulk of her service and volunteering serving as a cheer coach to 3-to-7-year old’s three times a week, as well as coaching cheer to students with special needs.  Brooklyn will be attending University of California San Diego (UCSD) studying Human Biology to become an orthodontist. 

According to the RCSL Scholarship Committee Chair, Leo Schlueter, the $2,000 scholarship payments will be sent directly to the school/university the student will be attending this Fall. A panel of judges, which included RCSL members Dr. Craig Gilbert and RCSL members/Sun Lakes residents Don Robins and Gary Kay, reviewed and scored applications from area high school seniors. Each application included a 300-word essay, which provided the student’s beliefs and understanding of what “service above self” means; teacher recommendations; and student academic standing data.  Also, RCSL’s selections were based on each student’s exhibiting exemplary acts of service and character. 

RCSL, chartered in 1986 with Rotary International, is a community leadership organization made up of men and women from local businesses, professional, education, civic and emerging leaders.  Rotary International has over 35,000 member clubs worldwide, with a membership of over 1.2 million individuals, known as Rotarians. To learn more about RCSL projects, programs and membership – see www.sunlakesrotary.com .

We are pleased to announce that Georgia Bukata has been selected to serve as the District Governor of Interact District 5495 for the 2022-23 year. 
 
She will be a Junior at BASIS Scottsdale, where, as a freshman, she began, and has successfully led a thriving and award-winning Interact club at her school during the pandemic.
 
Georgia excels as a leader in initiating and motivating.  She serves on the Mayor’s Youth Council, as Secretary of the Mental Health Committee on the Governor’s Youth Commission, and has served as both President and Vice President of Scottsdale’s National Charity League. She is a U.S. Soccer Federation grade 8 referee, and serves on the national council to promote equality in the game of golf. 
 
She is also the assistant coach to the junior high boys’ soccer team at her school.  Having volunteered over 500 hours at local philanthropies, for the past two years she has received the Presidential Volunteer Service Award.
 
With wide and varied interests, Georgia is a top scholar who has already been serving as a student researcher with ASU’s SCENE Program, and as a research intern with the Translational Genomics Research Institute’s Center for Rare Childhood Diseases.  She expects to either become a physician or to continue in the field of medical research.
 
Georgia has named Erica Cabato as her Executive Assistant Governor, and has appointed Emily Osuna as her District Secretary.  Both are current Assistant Governors and leaders in the Mohave High Interact Club in Bullhead City.

Submitted by Dr. Honora Norton, RCSL Public Image Director

The Rotary Club of Sun Lakes (RCSL) held its annual Rotary International Four-Way Test Speech Contest. Six students from six different Chandler Unified School District (CUSD) High Schools competed.  The purpose of the speech is to apply the principles of Rotary International’s (RI) Four Way Test to a current ethical issue.

Students are challenged to identify a topic they feel passionate about and to adopt a point of view from which they will seek to persuade others. It should be something from the speaker’s personal experience or general knowledge.  Each part of the Four-Way Test was addressed during the speech.  

The Four Way Test addresses: Is it the TRUTH? Is it FAIR to all concerned? Will it build GOODWILL and BETTER FRIENDSHIPS? Will it be BENEFICIAL to all concerned?

Judges at the event included: Bret McKeand (RI District 5495 Governor), Dr. Craig Gilbert (CUSD/RCSL member), Frank Narducci (CUSD), Leo Schlueter (CUSD/RCSL member), Larry Horton (RI District 5495 Governor-Elect), Bonnie Snow (RCSL member/Sun Lakes resident); with Bill Schink (RCSL member/Sun Lakes resident) serving as Judging Auditor. 

Bill McCoach, RCSL member/Sun Lakes resident and event chairperson; announced the following placement awards:

·       1st Place—$500:  Gauri Murkoth, Sophomore at Arizona College Prep with topic: 4-Way Test/Social Media

·       2nd Place—$250:  Gowri Biju, Sophomore at Hamilton High School with topic: 4-Way Test/Creator Herbert Taylor

·       Runner-up—$100:  Disha Sankhla, Freshman at Basha High School with topic: 4-Way Test/Relationships

·       Runner-up—$100:  Mikayla Pelt, Sophomore at Chandler High School with topic: 4-Way Test/Friendships

·       Runner-up—$100:  Wonjeaong “Danny” Han, Freshman at Casteel High School with topic: 4-Way Test/History Can be Fun

·       Runner-up—$100:  Grant Stieber, Freshman at Perry High School with topic: 4-Way Test/Housing Crisis

In addition to the 4 Way Test Competition, Rotary Club of Sun Lakes recently presented a $500 check to Chandler/Gilbert Family YMCA.  The donation will be directed towards 10 scholarships to the YMCA’s Safety Around Water Week’s May 2022 Learn How to Swim Program.  Safety Around Water is a program that shows parents, caregivers, and children the importance of water safety skills and provides access to water safety lessons.