Saratoga Rotary announced four local high school students are the lucky recipients of $2,500 scholarships.
The winners are Saratoga High students Arhem Barkatullah and Joshua Pi and Prospect students Heather Lindsay and Sergio Cordero. All four are seniors.
“When you hear them, you feel that the world is going to be all right and a better place because of who they are.” said Shinku Sharma, one of three Rotarians who served on the panel of judges. “The future is bright.”
Barkatullah, 18, said she’d use the funds toward school at Barrett, the Honors College at Arizona State University, where she plans to study biomedical science. The Saratoga resident’s years of experience as a volunteer helped her snag the scholarship, she said. Barkatullah is a three year member of the Interact Club, a Rotary-sponsored club on campus that undertakes community service-oriented projects. She has also volunteered at the VA Palo Alto Health Care System for the past two years and served on the Saratoga Library’s teen advisory board for seven years.
Joshua, 17 of Saratoga is involved in his school’s music department and in student government. He is also an Interact member, having been part of the club since his freshman year. Aside from holding fundraisers and organizing events this year, the club took on a global project in Kenya and another one here in the Bay Area where it helped impoverished children, said Joshua. In the fall, he’ll be starting at the University of Puget Sound in Seattle.
Heather Lindsay, 18, of San Jose, is all about giving back to her community. She regularly volunteers through her church, plays field hockey and runs track for Prospect and is president of the French club.
“If you have some talent, you’re not supposed to keep it to yourself. You have to contribute to society and the easiest way to do that is through community service,” she said. “I think it’s necessary to be well-rounded and get the most out of life.” Lindsay plans to study biology at UCLA this fall.
Sergio Cordero is a self-employed private tutor. He started tutoring one student in Chemistry AP this fall and had 7 students by spring. He is a member of Prospect's robotics tem and this is where he is most successful and satisfied. He aids in the design of a robot, machine parts, and mentors younger team members. He is also involved with Prospect's leadership activities. Sergio plans to pursue a BS in Mechanical Engineering and eventually wants to work in the field of prosthetics and robots.
Rotary received about 20 applications, according to Sharma. The four applicants exemplify Rotary’s motto of “service above self”, she said. “We are always looking for candidates who exemplify that, and make a difference for others and do things not necessarily for recognition but to get things done”, she said. “All the applicants, when you listen to them, they’re all wonderful, great kids. It is challenging to select a few.”
The Saratoga Rotary Charitable Foundation and the Thompson family are financing the awards.
Scholarship Winners (from left to right) Ahrem Barkateullah , Joshua Pi, Heather Lindsay, Sergio Cordero
Posted by Catherine Thermond
On March 2, a dozen Saratoga Rotarians, armed with Dr. Seuss books and hats, visited Latimer Elementary School in the Moreland School District on Read Across America Day. Latimer warmly welcomed us and the teachers had the students prepared for the celebration. Rotarians read to the students in grades TK through 5 and then left each student with a book to take home to support literacy in the community. Titles ranged from picture books like Chika Chika Boom Boom through beginning readers like Henry and Mudge to classic chapter books including Charlotte’s Web and My Father’s Dragon. We distributed 230 books and a great time was had by all!
Posted by Catherine Thermond
Seventy Rotarians and students from Prospect and Saratoga High Schools came together on Saturday, February 28, to package meals for Stop Hunger Now, an international hunger relief organization. In just two hours, our group of volunteers packaged meals for 20,088 people!
Stop Hunger Now was established in 1998. Through its meal packaging program, participants package highly nutritious, dehydrated meals consisting of rice, soy, vegetables, flavoring and 21 essential vitamins. Volunteers measure, weigh, seal and pack the meals while lively music plays and the gong sounds every time one thousand meals are completed.
Stop Hunger Now’s meals primarily go to schools and orphanages around the world. In impoverished areas, children are often sent to school if they will be fed. Each meal costs about 29 cents; the meals are easy to transport and store. Once a cargo carrier is filled with meals from events in the area, its destination will be finalized and Stop Hunger Now advises our group as to where the meals will be distributed.
We would like to thank all the Rotarians and their families and friends and the Interact Clubs at both Prospect and Saratoga High School for their help and enthusiasm on February 28. Special thanks to Heavens Helping Hand Foundation for financial support of the event. For more information about Stop Hunger Now, go to www.stophungernow.org.
Music and Memory is an amazing program to help people living with dementia and other chronic cognitive and physical impairments reconnect with family and friends. The program has been shown to enable persons to feel like themselves and be able to communicate and socialize again through the use of this music program.
Saratoga Rotary is using part of our 2014-2015 Club DDF (District Designated Funds) to work with Fatima Villa, the local Music & Memory Certified Care Facility, to bring this program to Saratogans and their families. Music & Memory trainers will instruct elder care professionals, Rotarians and other interested parties on how to set up music playlists on iPods for those in their care and how to work with individuals to utilize the music to reawaken memories. The next training seminar will be available in a few months.
Rotarians will be able to work with this program in any of the following ways:
- Develop and set up personalized music playlists,
- Work at Fatima Villa with individual patients participating in Music & Memory,
- Mentor high school students working with Fatima patients, or
- Implement the Music & Memory program with a friend or family member.
For more information about Music & Memory, go to http://musicandmemory.org/ .