Rotary clubs salute 2016 youth leaders

A group photo of all Scottsdale Rotary finalists (submitted photo)

A group photo of all Scottsdale Rotary finalists (submitted photo)

The Rotary Club of Scottsdale and Scottsdale Airpark Rotary Clubs annually collaborate to hold their 2016 Scottsdale Youth Salute to applaud the positive accomplishments of local young men and women.

Youth Salute recognizes outstanding high school seniors and involves them in seminars and workshops specifically designed to further develop their already formidable leadership skills.

Nominations for Scottsdale’s Youth Salute candidates are requested during a student’s junior year, according to a press release. Students are nominated not only on grades, but also on leadership in school activities, religious organizations, or activities in their community.

Each student is asked to complete an application and answer three out of four essay questions. The two Rotary Clubs review the essays; interview each student; and then select 12 students to compete on award night by answering an “on the spot question.”

Of the 12 selected students, four students are selected to attend “Town Meeting on Tomorrow” to be held mid-October 2016 in St. Louis, the release stated. Youth leaders with diverse backgrounds from across the nation gather in St. Louis at Washington University to participate in the Youth Salute Programs, sponsored by the National Council on Youth Leadership.

“Town Meeting on Tomorrow” inspires youth to service, excellence and outstanding performance by reinforcing active leadership as the key to meeting tomorrow’s needs.

This year the Rotary Clubs received 67 Youth Salute leadership nominations from 11 Scottsdale high schools.

The Youth Salute Award ceremonies were held April 7, at Scottsdale Community College. Rotarians Mike Savastio, Sara Hartman-Crosby and Mary Blank with support from Roger Rohr and Dr. Honora Norton helped organize the evening’s activities. Coach John Avianantos spoke to the all the nominated students and their parents and guests. Coach Avianantos is a nationally renown speaker and Scottsdale Community College athletic director and head football coach. Coach Aviananto’s talk was fun, fast paced and loaded with cutting edge concepts that the students could apply immediately to make a lasting effect his/her self image and confidence, the release stated.

As part of the Award Night program award certificates were given to all Youth Salute nominees. The four 2016 Scottsdale Youth Salute Award Winners selected to go to the 2016 Town Meeting on Tomorrow in St. Louis were:

  • Scottsdale Preparatory Academy, Jaywon Kim;
  • Desert Mountain High School, Nicholas Basch;
  • Xavier College Preparatory, Emily Wood;
  • and Desert Mountain High School,  Alexis Scott

Alexandria Murray, from Xavier College Preparatory was named alternate in case one of the four winners is unable to attend.  In addition to the these winners, the finalists included: from Arcadia High School, Camryn Lizik; from BASIS High School, Julia Gaumond; from Chaparral High School, Kendrick Nguyen and Anna Lee Cook; from Desert Mountain High School, Alexis Hocken; from Phoenix Country Day School, Sam Lett; and, from Saguaro High School, Meredith Huls. 2015 Youth Salute Winners, Cole Dady and Jason Greenfield, both from Phoenix Country Day School, as well as, Rotarian Lou Lou Durant shared their experiences as past award winners.

For more information about Rotary Club of Scottsdale’s upcoming speakers, projects, programs, and meeting dates/locations visit  Visitors to club meetings are always welcome.

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