Rotary scholars travel globe
by ROGER POWERS
At this moment Kalah, a high school student from Salinas, is living with a Rotary family and going to school for a year in Belgium. And Anna, from Norway, is attending school in Salinas, where she is also an honorary member and participates in all Steinbeck Rotary Club activities.
This is the result of the club's student exchange program, which is funded by the club's annual silent auction, to be held Saturday.
Planting seeds for the future!: that is the bottom line of Steinbeck Rotary's focus on kids, which is an ever-turning wheel of activity.
It is interesting to watch that wheel go 'round. Several years ago, a young girl from a low-income family was attending Alisal High School. She decided to apply for the Steinbeck Rotary student exchange program, was selected, and spent a year living with a Rotary family and studying in France, all expenses paid for by Rotary. When she returned, she worked part-time for a local company owned by a Steinbeck Rotarian, went to college, graduated, and is now a biologist with a local seed company. Her name is Estella, and she is now an active member of Steinbeck Rotary.
Student exchange is just one of the many Steinbeck Rotary youth programs. Others include scholarships, youth leadership summer camps, spring-break trips to New York City and Washington, D.C., recognizing students of the month, Top 100 dinners (honoring the top 25 students from each class at Alisal and Everett Alvarez high schools), "job shadowing" with members at their work to see what that kind of work is really like.
All of this, and more, is funded by those who do Christmas shopping amid a myriad of wonderful donated items. Bargains range from kitchen cutlery to dinners out, AT&T Pro-Am season passes, golf club memberships, bikes, phones, televisions, toasters, pictures, paintings, tools, tune-ups, flowers, candles and trees ... You name it and you'll probably find it there - at Steinbeck Rotary's Silent Auction from 6 to 10 p.m. Saturday at the National Steinbeck Center