Scottsdale students compete April 10 for Youth Salute Awards

Rotarians Roger Rohr and Bill Bader exchanging successful interview techniques with Youth Salute candidates. (Submitted photo)

The Rotary Club of Scottsdale, along with Paradise Valley Rotary Club, recently congratulated and  interviewed 53 high school students from Arcadia, Chaparral, Coronado, Desert Mountain, Notre Dame Preparatory, Pinnacle, Saguaro and Scottsdale Preparatory High Schools.

Rotary Club of Scottsdale

Rotary Club of Scottsdale Youth Salute Committee Members greet candidates. From left, Rotarians Bill Bader and Roger Rohr (interview trainers) Dr. Honora Norton (Youth Salute PR), Mary Blank (Youth Salute Vice Chair) and Mike Savastio (Youth Salute Chair). (Submitted photo)

Youth Salute candidates were interviewed March 28 by 22 Rotarians from Rotary Club of Scottsdale and Paradise Valley Rotary Club, as well as, other community leaders. While the students were waiting for their interviews, Rotarians Roger Rohr and Bill Bader role-played and shared successful interviewing techniques with the candidates.

On April 10, starting at 5:45 p.m., all 53 students, their parents and school advisors will gather at Chaparral High School Auditorium.  That night 12 semi-finalists will be announced.  Each of the semi-finalists will given two minutes to answer a “final question” on stage.

After hearing each students remarks, judges will convene and select four students and two alternates as the 2019 Scottsdale Youth Salute winners.  Ken Hammond, president of Scottsdale Rotary Club, Diego Moncibaez, president of Paradise Valley Rotary Club and Carrie A. Norton Hughes, Ph.D. in microbiology from Loyola University Chicago Stritch School of Medicine will be the evening’s judges.

The four winners and two alternates will receive expense-paid trips to a Youth Salute Leadership Town Meeting on Tomorrow Conference to be held on Oct. 19-23 at Washington University in St. Louis, Missouri.

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.

At the award night, sponsored by Rotary Club of Scottsdale for the past 24 years, Co-chairs Mike Savastio and Mary Blank will extend special acknowledgement and gratitude to the applicant interviewers and judges, as well as, parents and school counselors for mentoring Scottsdale’s teen leaders.  The club extends a special thank you to Chaparral High School for hosting the initial interviews and the award night’s festivities.

As part of the award evening’s program, last year’s Youth Salute Award Winners – Soniyah Robinson, Chaparral High School; Luis Ayala Gutierrez, Arcadia High School; Kari Harper, Desert Mountain High School; and Adway Gopakumar, Scottsdale Preparatory Academy – will share highlights of their experiences attending the 2018 Town Meeting on Tomorrow in St. Louis. While the judges convene and share notes, nationally recognized Coach John Avianantos will be on hand as the evening’s keynote speaker.

Visit 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.

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