Rotary Club President Vincent Chiravalle with Distinguished Student of Service Joshua Shevitz; his father, Danny Shevitz; and high school language arts teacher Lori Thompson. 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 toward 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: Is it the truth? Is it fair to all concerned? Will it build good will and better friendships? Will it be beneficial to all concerned?
The Rotary Club of Los Alamos recently welcomed Joshua Shevitz as a Distinguished Student of Service. Shevitz is indeed one who has made service part of his life and is also a well-rounded student. He volunteers for two after-school programs for middle school students, the Rocket Club and the Homework Club, and he has also volunteered abroad, helping build facilities in Petate, Ecuador for three weeks and homes in Mexico during spring break. Shevitz works as a lifeguard at the Larry Walkup aquatic center and was on the high school swim team. In addition to these activities, he is an accomplished musician. He is a member of Schola Cantorum, the top choir at the high school, and has played the piano for 12 years. He has also given a piano performance at Carnegie Hall in New York City and will participate in an international competition later this month.
In his Rotary essay, Shevitz shared one of the challenges facing today’s youth: namely, students spending too much time on electronic devices and becoming out of touch with each other and with their sense of curiosity and imagination. He discussed his involvement with two clubs at Piñon Elementary School that take students away from their electronic devices and excite them about real world activities. He wrote, “The Rocket Club aims to get 6th graders interested in STEM and to creatively display and then launch their rockets. I want 6th graders to realize that with passion and hard work nothing will stop them from reaching their goals. Homework Club aims to help elementary students from becoming frustrated with their homework as well as keeping them focused. The goal is to keep children from giving up on their academic future and helping them realize their potential.”
We feel that this is a very worthy effort and commend Shevitz on his service to the youth in Los Alamos.
Shevitz is the son of Laura Smilowitz and Danny Shevitz. He chose Lori Thompson, Los Alamos High School language arts teacher, as the teacher who has had the most positive influence in his life.