Recognizing that service to youth is a critical service area in Rotary International, Portland Pearl Rotary expanded its connection more than a decade ago with Lincoln High School. Previous to that, PPRC had active youth exchange participation (inbound and outbound) that impacted LHS students. Another reason for reaching out was to increase recruitment for host families.
Principal Peyton Chapman, then new to Lincoln, quickly embraced Rotarians. (Aside: Her father was a Rotarian in Cleveland, Ohio.) We immediately implemented the student of the month program, honoring excelling and service-minded seniors. We borrowed a certificate from the Monticello, Minn., Rotary Club, and localized to PPRC and LHS. We began a relationship that Peyton has often championed in her administrative world. And, as Pearl Rotary hoped, it has extended beyond the student recognition program where we started.
The Social Justice Committee (in collaboration with the Youth Services and Membership Committees) will work with Madison High School through its Advancement Via Individual Determination (AVID) program. AVID is a college readiness program designed to help students develop the skills they need to be successful in college. The program places special emphasis on growing writing, critical thinking, teamwork, organization and reading skills.
What’s been accomplished at Lincoln High School provides a template for the Portland Pearl Rotary Club’s Social Justice Committee. In addition to potential recruitment of YE host families, we are also interested in implementing this strategy to support the our diversity, equity and inclusion plan -- to expand community connections that would serve to enhance the diversity of Club membership.
Madison High School seniors involved in the AVID program would be honored based on their scholarship and other critical growth attributes that qualified applicants possess. AVID program lead(s) would make selections with the support of the Madison High School Principal. The selected student/family will attend two club meetings. The student then returns the following week and speaks for 4-5 minutes, most often on a topic, issue, passion or experience of their choosing. Questions and answers may follow; the framed certificate is awarded by the PPRC school liaison.