LAHS Junior Rebecca Li Named Rotary Distinguished Student Of Service

Rotarian Tim Bullock presents a Distinguished Student of Service certificate to LAHS junior Rebecca Li on behalf of the Rotary Club of Los Alamos as her parents Yuhong Qin and Shengtai Li share the moment, April 4 at Cottonwood on the Greens. Photo by Sandy Tobin

Rotary Club of Los Alamos

The motto of Rotary is Service Above Self. To support this motto in 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 goodwill and better friendships?
  • Will it be beneficial to all concerned?

On April 4, the Rotary Club of Los Alamos presented Rebecca Li, a Los Alamos High School junior, with a Distinguished Student of Service award. Rebecca is indeed one who has made service part of her life and she is a well-rounded student. Rebecca is the Vice President of the Key Club (a Kiwanis-sponsored club), the secretary of the Rotary Interact Club, treasurer of the National Math Honors Society and an executive board member of the German Club. Rebecca is also a member of the National Honor Society, the model UN program, and the Speech and Debate team, where she finished second place in US extemporaneous debate at the Cottonwood tournament. Rebecca has volunteered for numerous service projects including packing and distributing food for The Food Depot,  tutoring as part of the National Math Honors Society, contributing more than 130 hours of service with the Key Club, and participating in service projects for the Rotary Interact Club. In addition to these activities Rebecca is an accomplished musician who has played the violin for over 10 years, participating in the symphonic orchestra during her freshman and sophomores and representing Los Alamos on the NM Music Educators Association All-State orchestra in 2021.

In her essay Rebecca shared with the Club one of the challenges facing today’s youth; namely deterioration of mental health caused by the stress of missing school days, unfinished homework, and late nights of continuous studying with little time for anything else. Rebecca proposed creating a student-to-student help group of trained students who can advise and listen to those in search of help coping with stress and mental health issues. Rebecca described her approach to addressing this issue as follows, “With mental health cases rising, and little being done about it, I believe that through a successful implementation of a student-to-student program, one can help mitigate this crisis. I have felt academic pressures, and have seen the effects that poor mental health have had on the people around me. As one person, I can only do so much. However, working with others, change can not only occur, but it can be sustained.”

The Rotary Club of Los Alamos feels that this is a very worthy effort and commends Rebecca for her service to the youth in Los Alamos.

When receiving the award Rebecca was joined by her mother Yuhong Qin, and her father Shengtai Li. Rotarian Tim Bullock conducted the award ceremony. LAHS teacher Christine Engelbrecht nominated Rebecca for the award.