Rotarian Vincent Chiravalle, left, presents Los Alamos High School junior Nadezda Draganic April 12 with the Rotary Distinguished Student of Service Award. They were joined by LAHS science teacher Stephanie Mitchell and Ilija Draganic, Ms. Draganic’s father. Photo by Sandy Tobin
BY VINCENT CHIRAVELLE
AND LINDA HULL
Rotary Club of Los Alamos
The Motto of Rotary is Service Above Self. To support this, each academic year the Rotary Club of Los Alamos honors “Distinguished Students of Service” in their junior year of high school. 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 selected Nadezda Draganic as a Distinguished Student of Service.
Draganic is indeed one who has made service part of her life and is also a well-rounded student with a high grade-point average. Draganic has served on Student Council since middle school and serves now at Los Alamos High School. She is also a member of the Link Crew at LAHS, which assists with freshman orientation. Draganic is a dedicated member of Interact, the Rotary youth organization that develops leadership skills through service.
Draganic is also active in sports, a member of the varsity swim and track teams. She also enjoys tennis and drawing. Other interests include spending time outdoors and cooking.
In a Rotary essay, Draganic shared one of the challenges facing today’s youth: namely, the lack of social activities for children because of the pandemic. As she wrote, “Many kids have lost out on childhood due to the pandemic.” With her strong participation in Student Council, she has helped plan and implement dances and theme dress-up weeks for the students at the high school. Draganic observed that events like these provide “a social, friendly environment.” She continues, “The activities help the community, specifically the school community, because they raise the spirits of the students and also bring everyone close together. I feel events like these are crucial because in a small community like ours it is crucial to stay connected. They also give a chance to meet new people and make lifetime memories.”
Through Interact, Draganic has recently proposed and is helping organize a large crafts fair to bring children together and raise money for a worthy cause. Describing her service in Interact, Draganic writes, “I love that we have events such as these because we can often feel helpless in situations that are happening around the world, but Rotary helps us achieve the change we wish to see. As a young generation we are the future, and we have the ability to make change now.”
The Rotary Club of Los Alamos feels that this is a very worthy effort and commends Nadezda Draganic for her service to the youth in Los Alamos.
Draganic is the daughter of Oksana and Ilija Draganic. She named Los Alamos High School science teacher Stephanie Mitchell as the teacher who has been most influential in her life.