Volume XI, Issue 43: June 8, 2012

Announcements and Business …
Kate and Noëmi
Last Friday we had our annual visit with the Top Ten Percent of Arcata High School’s Graduating Class, but there was a little Sunriser Business to take care of first. President Scott told us that the Arcata Rotary (aka the Noon Club) has invited us to join them for their annual Fun Day on Wednesday, June 20th at Merryman’s Beach House on Moonstone Beach. More details will follow, but save the date.
Two special people celebrated birthdays recently, and we honored them both. Rotary “Kid” Kate Breyer turned 14 on Monday, June 4th, and Exchange Student Noëmi Schönenberger turned 18 on Saturday, June 9th. Despite what you see in the photo to the left, both birthday celebrations were age-appropriate …
Our 2012 Scholarship Recipients
Each year the Rotary Club of Arcata Sunrise provides financial assistance to deserving graduates, but the Class of 2012 made the task difficult for our Scholarship Committee, according to its chair, Jason White. The group selected four outstanding students to be honored. The first four graduates each received a one-time scholarship of $1,000. In the photo below from left to right are Scholarship Chair Jason White, Jazmen McGinnis, Shoshana Lescht-Smith, Matt Nelson, Gregory Arena, and Arcata Sunrise President Scott Heller.
Class of 2012 Sunrise Scholars
Shoshana Lescht-Smith has played varsity soccer for four years, has been a member of the AHS Interact Club for two years, and has volunteered as a Hebrew school teacher, for teen court, and for the Youth Relay for Life. Shoshana will major in Biology at Santa Barbara University, then she plans to earn a PhD and pursue a career in science research.
Jazmen McGinnis was voted the MVP of the AHS Cross-Country team this year, and she also was a member of the track team. She volunteered in the Creeks Project Club and she was part of the Be the Change Program. Despite her busy academic and athletic schedule, she also works at CVS Pharmacy. She plans to attend College of the Redwoods in the Fall, where she will continue running cross-country. Her long-term goal is to work in health care, possibly in the field of physical therapy.
Matthew Nelson was a member of the AHS Madrigal Choir, and he also served as an officer in the National Honor Society. He volunteered time for Hearts of Haiti and Relay for Life. Matthew will attend Santa Rosa Junior College in the fall, but then he intends to transfer to UC Davis to study anthropology, with an ultimate goal of gaining his PhD and perhaps going into education.
The recipient of our RCAS Memorial Scholarship, which provides $1,000 per year for the next four years, was Gregory Arena. Gregory is a violinist in the ArMack Orchestra and he is a former History Day winner. He grew up in a household devoid of technological trappings – no television, no cellphone, no X-Box. After he read “My Side of the Mountain”, Gregory challenged himself by trying to survive outside on his own. He will attend UC Berkeley to study botany and biology with an eye toward environmental research, possibly regarding global warming. 
Focus on Your Passion (and Join Rotary)
Our featured speaker last Friday was Rollin Richmond, President of Humboldt State University … and a Visiting Rotarian. Rollin noted that Humboldt State was the first university to adopt a Graduation Pledge, twenty years ago. The HSU Pledge is short – only 21 words, in fact – but it is powerful. “I pledge to thoroughly investigate and take into account the social and
environmental consequences of any job opportunity that I consider.” Rollin encouraged the graduates, to consider making such a pledge regardless of their chosen schools.
Rollin Richmond
Rollin counseled the students to focus on their passions, not financial considerations when pursuing their careers. “Choose your values,” he said, “and set realistic but challenging goals.” He is a scientist first and foremost, so he hopes that many of the bright young men and women in the audience will opt for research careers. “Prepare yourselves for a lifetime of curiosity,” he advised.

Here are more of Rollin’s suggestions:
  • Try new things
  • Prepare financially for college
  • Be sure to find time for yourself
  • Learn how to manage your money
  • Use your college advisors
  • Don’t let roadblocks get in your way

Rollin also recommended that the students join Rotary. It’s an organization that brings you into contact with community leaders. It also provides significant community support. And, Rollin said, “It’s fun!”