Local Rotary Clubs announce 2018 Youth Salute Awards

2018 Scottsdale Youth Salute winners, from left, Alternates Austin Brown and Haley Richardson, Pinnacle High School; Winners Luis Ayala Gutierrez, Arcadia High School; Kari Harper, Desert Mountain High School; Soniyah Robinson, Chaparral High School and Adway Gopakumar, Scottsdale Preparatory Academy. (Photo by Dale Gray)

The Rotary Club of Scottsdale, along with Paradise Valley Rotary Club, has selected the four winners and two alternates to receive trips to a Youth Salute Leadership Town Meeting on Tomorrow Conference to be held on Oct. 20-23 at Washington University in St. Louis, Mo.

Youth Salute is a recognition program for high school juniors who are leadership achievers. The program is designed to applaud young people who are good citizens, have at least a B grade-point average, and have been elected to leadership positions by their peers, in their schools and or community organizations.

Forty-six students applied from eight different Scottsdale high schools. Students were interviewed as Youth Salute candidates March 22 by Rotarians and community leaders.

Twelve semi-finalists were announced April 3 at a gathering at Scottsdale Community College. Each of the semi-finalists were given two minutes to answer a “final question” on stage.

The final question was “Teens with a sense of purpose do better academically, are healthier and more resilient. How do you as a leader define your sense of purpose?”
After hearing each student’s remarks, judges convened and selected four students and two alternates as the 2018 Scottsdale Youth Salute winners.

Dr. Jan Gehler, president of Scottsdale Community College: Mary Blank, Rotary Club of Scottsdale past club president, and Adam Evans, president of Paradise Valley Rotary Club, were the judges.

Scottsdale Youth Salute finalists and winners are: Soniyah Robinson, Chaparral High School; Luis Ayala Gutierrez, Arcadia High School; Kari Harper, Desert Mountain High School; and Adway Gopakumar, Scottsdale Preparatory Academy.

Alternates Haley Richardson and Austin Brown, both from Pinnacle High School, were named in case one of the four winners is unable to attend the Town Meeting on Tomorrow Conference.

The remaining six finalists were Briana Walker, Arcadia High School; Brian Lee and Grace Taylor, Chaparral High School, Jose Herrera and Katie Cabrera, Coronado High School; and Sean Holford, Scottsdale Preparatory High School.

While the judges convened and shared notes, nationally recognized Coach John Avianantos was on hand as the evening’s keynote speaker.

At the event, sponsored by Rotary Club of Scottsdale for the past 23 years, Co-chairs Mike Savastio and Sara Crosby-Hartman extended special acknowledgement and gratitude to the applicant interviewers and judges, as well as, parents and school counselors for mentoring Scottsdale’s teen leaders.

A special thank you was extended to Chaparral High School for hosting the initial interviews and The Scottsdale Community College for hosting the award night’s festivities.

Visit www.scottsdalerotary.org or call 480-945-6158 to inquire about club meeting reservations, programs, meeting location, projects and membership for active and retired business professionals and community leaders.

 

2018 Youth Salute Semi-Finalists, from left, front, Haley Richardson, Pinnacle High School; Katie Cabrera, Coronado High School; Briana Walker and Luis Ayala Gutierrez, Arcadia High School; Soniyah Robinson, Chaparral High School; Jose Herrera, Coronado High School. Back, Sean Holford and Adway Gopakumar, Scottsdale Preparatory Academy; Austin Brown, Pinnacle High School; Grace Taylor and Brian Lee, Chaparral High School; Kari Harper, Desert Mountain High School. (Photo by Dale Gray)

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