Rotary Club helps bridge the gap |

Rotary Club helps bridge the gap

Dear Editor:

On Thursday evening at the Colorado Mountain College Glenwood Center, Roaring Fork Rotary/Club Rotario hosted a scholarship banquet to award $11,500 to 13 local high school graduates and current CMC students toward Associate of Arts and Sciences and General Studies degrees.

President Trinity Delgado praised Scholarship Committee Chair Yesenia Arreola and committee members Michael Carter, Klaus Kocher and Susie Meraz for reviewing 40 applications, interviewing candidates and assessing need and merit to select the honorees. Delgado addressed the scholars, “At the same time you will be using your award, we as Rotarians will be entering into a year where the motto is ‘Peace through Service.’ We truly believe in this motto. Club Rotario was founded nine years ago, and since its inception we have been committed to raising funds for students like you. This is why we do what we do.”

The geographically balanced group featured Maritza Anahi Araiza (Basalt High School), Yesenia Flores (Glenwood Springs High School), Sheija Binshaban, Vanessa Porras and Kenia Pinela (Roaring Fork High School), plus eight returning CMC students: Nohemi Arredondo, Ana Gallardo, Ana Gaytan, Consuelo Gaytan, Fabiola Grajales, Gethzemani Grajales, Crisol Tellez and Jose Mendoza-Turbin. The repeat honorees underscored how prior recipients continue to live up to Club Rotario’s academic expectations.

Nohemi Arredondo inspired her fellow scholars, remarking, “Despite being discouraged by people telling me, ‘You are not good enough; you don’t speak our language; you are not smart enough,’ I always put forth my best efforts. Only I know what I have suffered by not seeing my parents for over 10 years. I will succeed, but not to prove anybody wrong. I will succeed for myself, my family and all the people I can help in the future. Thank you, Club Rotario.”

Yesenia Arreola added, “It truly fills our hearts to see you all here today. This is the reason why we work so hard every year, for this day to come and see you receive these awards. We know they will make a difference in your college education.”

At a concurrent event at Basalt High School, as public relations chair, I awarded BHS senior Anahi Araiza her Club Rotario scholarship, which she accepted in person. In a quote that applies to all our scholars, I said, “Anahi Araiza exemplifies the promise of multicultural excellence that generations of immigrants to the Roaring Fork Valley have worked so hard to make possible.”

Club Rotario will fund its 2013 scholars through the 10th Festival of the Americas on Aug. 26 at Sopris Park in Carbondale, featuring diverse live music, food and clothing vendors, nonprofit booths, a children’s area, a beer garden and the 2012 Jackie Morales Awards for outstanding service to the immigrant community in four categories: educator, student, professional and volunteer. We hope to see you there!

Jim Coombs

Public relations chair, Roaring Fork Rotary/Club Rotario

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