Building a Rotary scholarship plan brings fellow Rotarian to Pearl club

Posted on: Tuesday, 30 January 2024
Terry Kneisler, current president of the Central East Portland Rotary Club, brought a how-to-do-it message of organizational leadership to the PPRC podium Jan. 30. The educational veteran (40-year career and five superintendencies) and Rotary prowess (he’s in his seventh presidency!) shared his club’s success at developing four-year college scholarships for high school seniors.
One key, Terry advised: “Be open to new ideas, doing things differently.” His club built support for young scholars taking a program from its infancy to what today has $1.2 million in a trust. He specially highlighted its annual fundraising auction and dinner that brings educators, Rotarians, students and mentors together.

Terry’s handout included a list of do’s and don’ts. Today 16 students from Parkrose and David Douglas high schools receive stipends of $2,500 in a four-year commitment from Rotary. He wrote: “It should not be underestimated as to the impact of the regular face to face engagement, the development of relationships both with the students and their parent(s) over the four years.”

And his Rotary Club, he concluded in writing, “is view(ed) as vital, trusted, service-oriented and a partner in the process of education.”

Citing the current Rotary theme (“Bring Hope to the World"), he closed: “That’s what Rotary does—we change the trajectory of peoples’ lives.”
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