Neha Sadasivan, center, was honored Tuesday as a Distinguished Student of Service by the Rotary Club of Los Alamos. She is joined here by Rotary Club President Vincent Chiravalle and by her mother, Anagha Dandekar. Photo by Linda Hull
The Motto of Rotary is Service Above Self. To support this, the Rotary Club of Los Alamos honors nine “Distinguished Students of Service” in their junior year of high school each academic year.
Students are first nominated by their teachers who are asked to select those who:
- have given positive contributions to their high school and/or in the community,
- have a good attitude to learning,
- are good citizens, are respectful of their peers and teachers,
- and have good grades, attendance, and classroom participation.
The Club then selects students based on demonstrated spirit of service and exemplification of the Rotary 4-Way Test: It is the truth? Is it fair to all concerned? Will it build goodwill and better friendships? Will it be beneficial to all concerned?
The Rotary Club of Los Alamos recently welcomed Neha Sadasivan as a Distinguished Student of Service. Sadasivan is indeed one who has made service part of her life and is also a well-rounded student. She is a member of the Los Alamos High School Speech and Debate Team, the Hilltalkers, where she competed twice in the National Debate Tournament, and she is a member of student leadership for her class, helping set up pep rallies and dances and planning for Homecoming. Sadasivan has tutored several middle school students through Juvenile Justice Advisory Board in a diverse set of areas including language arts, social studies, science, and math. In addition, she has volunteered the past three summers at Mesa Public Library, working at the summer reading table to help young children fulfill their reading goals. Sadasivan also volunteered in 2017 to make handmade birthday cards for senior citizens at the Betty Ehart Senior Center.
Aside from these volunteer activities, she participated in a fellowship program at the Santa Fe Council on International Relations. There she met several ambassadors, gave a speech at a conference involving one thousand people, and wrote a research paper on the ethnic conflict in Myanmar.
In a Rotary essay, Sadasivan shared one of the challenges facing today’s youth: not knowing how to speak effectively to school administrators and community leaders so they can act on student concerns. Sadasivan would like students to be able to communicate their concerns about school shootings, sexual harassment, and dress code issues effectively and believes that through communication students can actively shape their lives both in school and in our community, making our community better.
In her essay she proposed two ways to give students confidence and make them better communicators. She wrote, “First, I would hold lectures about how to communicate concerns to the school administration, including important details like how to write a respectful email about a complaint to a teacher, how to make an appointment with the principal, and how to set up a time slot for the school board meeting. Then, I would work to set up real forums where students can come and present concerns to the school board and community adults.”
The Rotary Club of Los Alamos feels that this is a very worthy effort and commends Sadasivan on her service to the youth in Los Alamos.
Sadasivan is the daughter of Anagha Dandekar and Pratap Sadasivan. She named Los Alamos High School language arts teacher Christine Engelbrecht as the teacher who has been most influential in her life.