A fourth scholarship awarded by the Yadkin Valley Rotary Club was announced Wednesday morning during the club’s weekly meeting, which was held at Elkin High School with Interact Club members. In addition, the amount of funding provided through those scholarships has been increased.
The Rotary’s Service Above Self Scholarship will be a scholarship honoring “students who embodied the spirit of Rotary,” said Rotarian Mary Blackburn as she announced the new opportunity for students. The new scholarship will be specifically for students who are members of the Interact Club, she reported.
The past three years, Yadkin Valley Rotary members have awarded one $750 scholarship to a student at each of the area’s three high schools — Elkin, East Wilkes and Starmount.
With the addition of this fourth scholarship, the club also is increasing the amount of each scholarship to $1,000, Blackburn said.
“The Service Above Self Scholarship values the service Interact gives in the community,” she said. “It values the partnership with Rotary and Interact. Too much, service is not valued enough.”
Blackburn encouraged the Interact members to apply for the scholarship, and she thanked them for their involvement in Rotary projects, such as the New Year’s lunch fundraiser.
Interact President Madison Shoemaker spoke to the Rotarians about the activities the high school club has been involved in and those coming up. “We’ve been super busy. It can be overwhelming, but they are great opportunities to serve our community,” she said.
Those activities included the Yadkin Valley Pumpkin Festival, Halloween food drive, Cardboard City fundraiser, Elkin Valley Trails Association work day, Overmountain Victory Trail school day, the New Year’s luncheon. In the future, the students plan to help with the Elkin Elementary School Odyssey of the Mind competition, a Greensboro food packing event, the Elkin Public Library character breakfast and the fiddlers convention.
“We’re trying to come up with a reward for those who’ve been really active and volunteering,” said Shoemaker, using a rafting trip as a possibility. “I think those who’ve helped serve deserve a reward.”
She also thanked the Rotary club for its support of the Interact projects. “We couldn’t do what we do without you,” she said.
Each year, the Yadkin Valley Rotary Club sponsors a student in the Rotary 4-Way Test Speech Contest. Winning the local contest this year was Cameron Beals, who will now go on to compete at the district level, explained Blackburn.
Beals used Wednesday morning’s meeting as a way to practice her speech, presenting it to all in attendance.
The 4-Way Test was designed in the 1950s by Herbert J. Taylor and is the guideline by which the Rotary organization operates, ending each meeting with the test, which asks four basic questions — Is it the truth? Is it fair to all concerned? Will it build goodwill and better friendships? Will it be beneficial to all concerned?
Beals asks in her speech for those listening to imagine a place of learning where the four points are used which could lead to less bullying. Also in athletics, she said it would be beneficial.
“We are so happy today that our Rotary club chose to come here,” said Elkin City Schools Superintendent Dr. Randy Bledsoe, adding in addition to students, staff and parents, the community is part of the secret for the school system’s success. “A lot of schools across the state which that they had the community support we have here.”
Another presentation made during the meeting was one from Mary-Claire Hooper and Emma Aldridge, members of the Family, Career and Community Leaders of America group. The duo is working on a competition piece called “Interpersonal Communication,” which is focused on learning more about Alzheimer’s disease in their community. After a brief talk about their project, the Rotarians were asked to fill out a survey on Alzheimer’s for the students’ research.
Wendy Byerly Wood may be reached at 336-258-4035 or on Twitter @wendywoodeditor.