— Junior Rotarians introduce themselves to Lake Houston club —
No doubt about it, the Rotarians of Lake Houston had come face-to-face with Lake Houston’s future leaders.
When Rotarian Pam McNair asked a table of newly-introduced Junior Rotarians if they would like to participate in the Club’s food donation, the high school seniors didn’t miss a beat.
“We’re all in,” the Junior Rotarians said collectively, agreeing to help collect food that will be given to local not-for-profits this holiday season.
“This is why I joined Rotary,” Jennifer Karlstrom had said earlier in the meeting as she and Rotarian Christy Tarkington brought each Junior Rotarian to the podium to introduce themselves. “We always talk about changing the world. Well, this table of Junior Rotarians is how we do it.”
The young Rotarians were the featured “speakers” at the Nov. 11 meeting of the Rotary Club of Lake Houston at the Lake Houston Family YMCA. They are part of a joint program of the Lake Houston Club, the Summer Creek Satellite Club, and Humble ISD. In addition to Karlstrom and Tarkington, the program is guided by Humble ISD Trustee Nancy Morrison, Dr. Roger Brown with Humble ISD and Dr. Bonnie Longnion.
The Junior Rotary is a leadership building program, now in its fifth year. All participants are seniors. Teachers and counselors from each Humble ISD high school selected four to six exemplary students who were interviewed by the local Rotarians before two were chosen from each school.
“This was a tough selection process because all of the students interviewed are active in their school and in their community,” said Karlstrom. “These young people, especially the ones we selected, already have shown leadership skills on their own campuses and are serving their community the way our own Rotarians are. Through this program, we have an opportunity to channel their enthusiasm and help to guide them.”
The new young Rotarians underwent an orientation, were paired with a mentor from the Lake Houston or Summerwood club and will take part in the Lake Houston club’s various projects including ringing the bell for the Salvation Army and building beds in January for the Sleep in Heavenly Peace project.
“These are such great kids,” said Tarkington. “Being from different schools, they didn’t know each other but, at orientation, they all just clicked. They are all leaders.”
The Junior Rotarians and their mentors:
Atascocita High School
Taryn Tezeno, mentored by Christina Allen
John Billings, mentored by Billy Helmick
Humble High School
Colleen Powell, mentored by Christy Tarkington
Julian Soto, mentioned by Juan Aybar
Kingwood High School
Claire Lifrieri, mentored by Jessica Penney
Hayden Sassaman, mentored by Garth Hentges
Kingwood Park High School
Kathleen Ortiz, mentored by Jen Karlstrom
Sorrell Estrada, mentored by Talybra Hollins
Sconzo Early College High School
Simone Heck, mentored by Debbie Kevlin
Daniel Mandujano, mentored by Danny Contreras
Summer Creek High School
Nathaly Corno, mentored by Valerie Copley
Damion Norment, mentored by Destry Dokes
The Rotary Club of Lake Houston Area meets Wednesdays, 11:45 a.m., at the Lake Houston YMCA. The Summer Creek Satellite Club meets at 8:30 a.m. on the second and fourth Tuesdays at the third floor Nimble Office Suite, 250 Assay St., in Generation Park. To learn more about the advantages of being a Rotarian, lharotary.com.