District 5495 Youth Services News

Hello everyone!
My name is Kassandra Macias, a senior at Westwood High School, and I am the Interact District Governor for the 2023-2024 year!
This year I have selected Natalie Pacheco from Westwood High School to serve as the Executive Assistant Governor and Hannah Lewis from Canyon View High School as the District Secretary, and we have our Past District Governor Georgia Bukata. We as an Executive Board are eager to make many changes!
This year, we had a wide variety of applications to interview, and I am pleased to announce that we have 21 Assistant Governors for this year! Our district council has already begun our work including having two Zoom meetings and a very successful council retreat at Camp Wamatochick! At our retreat, we set our goals for the year, got to know one another, and had an endless amount of training to not only gain new Interact clubs but reactivate clubs across Arizona!
I am excited to announce that our Interact district’s theme for this year is “Hope Unites, Service Ignites”. Our Interact members are united because of hope — hope that we as a community can create change, not only within our community, but globally. We are all united by this hope, but we cannot make a change without having the ideal of “Service above Self.” We take this ideal and begin our service work. Our service work ignites friendships, connections, and transformations amongst ourselves and the world. This year, I would like to focus on uniting more Interact members across Arizona.
Kassandra Macias
Interact District Governor 2023-2024
Interact District 5495
It's almost like thinking ahead to Christmas!
Just doesn't seem like it is time already! However, NOW is the time for clubs to be thinking about RYLA : Rotary Youth Leadership Awards. 
A.J. Sheridan from Prescott Sunup RC, is the new chair for RYLA Pinerock, and we held our first Planning Team meeting on July 15th.  We are looking forward to a Great camp this year with lots of delegates. So, we need all our clubs to be planning for scholarships for delegates and to be making early contacts with the High Schools in their areas to get the word out.
Applications will be open in August. Watch our website for the dates.

All 2022-2023 Outbound students have arrived home and are excited to talk to you about their exchange abroad. Watch for them and their talks! 

The 2023-2024 youth exchange year is kicking off - with 16 inbound exchange students, 10 outbound students - covering 15 countries. It takes a lot of behind the scenes getting all the details in line for these students, which included 112 background checks, 120 application references, over 40 host families, 17 club counselors and 17 club youth exchange officers. 
District 5495 also has one in- and one outbound short-term exchange student. 
Thank you Donna Goetzenberger and Machel Considine for all your work and efforts arranging this year!! It's all about to begin! 

If your club wants to schedule an interview with any of the students, contact Donna Goetzenberger or Machel Considine at: rye5495@gmail.com

Submitted by Dr. Honora Norton, RCSL Public Image Director

The Rotary Club of Sun Lakes congratulated and presented $2,000 scholarship awards to: Ammaar Zindani, Hamilton High School Graduate attending ASU; Ella Choy, Casteel High School Graduate attending Vanderbilt University; Shiv Shukla, Perry High School Graduate attending Emory University; and Carol Chen, Hamilton High School Graduate attending University of Arizona. 

According to RCSL Rotarian/CUSD Executive Director Secondary Education 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, Leo Schlueter, Gary Kay, Elaine Ralls, Debbie Bailey, Roger Edmonds, Janet McDonald, Becky Kerr, Fred DePrez, and Maureen Alger, 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.

For more information about RCSL education programs and membership – see www.sunlakesrotary.net

Submitted by: Dr. Honora Norton, RCSL Public Image Director
The Rotary Club of Sun Lakes held its ninth annual Rotary International Four-Way Test Speech Contest. Five students from five different Chandler Unified School District 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 felt 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 be BENEFICIAL to all concerned?
Judges at the event included RI District Governor Larry Horton; Superintendent of Schools Frank Narducci; Executive Director Elementary Schools/RCSL member West Region Leo Schlueter; Executive Director Secondary Education High Schools Dan Serrano; RI Past District Governor/RCSL Member Gary Whiting, Assoc Superintendent Pre-K Educational Service/RCSL Member Dr. Craig Gilbert.
RCSL member Bill Schink served as contest scorekeeper.
Bill McCoach, RCSL event chairperson, announced the following placement awards:
* 1st Place-$500: Sophia Berg (Arizona College Preparatory Senior with topic 4-Way Test and Environment/Climate Change);
* 2nd Place-$250: Joseph Chen (Hamilton HS Senior with topic 4-Way Test/Society's Evolution);
* Runners-Up-$100: Disha Sankhla (Basha HS sophomore with topic 4-Way Test/Communication ); Diya Tamakuwala  (Casteel HS Junior with topic College/Life Career Choices); Rayan Elhadri (Chandler HS Senior with topic 4-Way Test and Global Awareness). Each Student applied Rotary's Four-Way Test principles to his/her 5-7-minute talk.
Sophia has been invited to speak at 2023 RI District 5495 Conference in Downtown Phoenix.
District 5495 Interact District Governor Georgia Bukata has been chosen to receive two of Arizona's most prestigious awards that will be given this year.
Junior Achievement each year selects 18 of the most outstanding youth in Arizona, to be recognized as "The Best and the Brightest" with their "18 under 18" Award.  Georgia has been selected as one of the 18 to be honored by that organization as a 2023 recipient of that coveted award.  It will be presented to her during a special virtual and in-person ceremony on the evening of April 26.
Each year the Governor of Arizona also selects just one youth under the age of 18 to receive the "Inspired Youth Leadership Award" for their outstanding community service work.  Our Interact DG Georgia Bukata has also been selected as the 2023 recipient of that award, and she will be honored at a Governor's luncheon event on April 26.
Past District Governor Art Harrington, our district's Interact chair, said "I expect that every Rotarian, Rotaractor and Interactor in our district will be very proud of this exceptional young leader within the Family of Rotary, as she is recognized with these two very prestigious statewide awards."