Rotarian Vincent Chiravalle presents a Distinguished Student of Service certificate to LAHS junior Maximus Posada, on behalf of the Rotary Club of Los Alamos as his parents, Judy and Enrique Posada, share the moment with LAHS teacher Margo Batha, April 18, at Cottonwood on the Greens. Photo by Sandy Tobin.
BY VINCENT CHIRAVALLE
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 good will and better friendships?
- Will it be beneficial to all concerned?
On April 18 the Rotary Club of Los Alamos presented Maximus Posada, a Los Alamos High School junior with a Distinguished Student of Service award. Maximus is indeed one who has made service part of his life and he is a very well-rounded student. Maximus is the Vice President of Bradbury Science Museum Student Advisory Board, and he is also the Student Liaison for the LAPS School Board. Maximus is a member of the Rotary Interact Club, Link Crew, and model United Nations. He is an officer in the French Club and captain of the Hill Talkers Speech and Debate team. He is also a math tutor, a lector at Church, and a Youth Mentor for Vacation Bible School. Maximus is an accomplished musician who runs his own cello studio and gives weekly lessons to younger musicians. He has been the principal cellist in the Santa Fe Youth Symphony Orchestra for the past 2 years. He has been selected for the All-State Orchestra for the past 3 years, and he was selected to the Carnegie Hall 2022 Nation Youth Orchestra as an alternate cellist. In addition to these impressive accomplishments Maximus was the 2022 State Champion in Varsity Lincoln-Douglas Debate, a two-time National Qualifier for the 2022 and 2023 National Speech and Debate Championships, and he received the National Speech and Debate Association Academic All American Award.
In his essay Maximus shared with the Club one of the challenges facing today’s youth; namely anxiety, depression, and other mental health issues causing students to turn to alcohol or drugs and to act out in ways that are harmful to themselves and others. Maximus is a strong advocate of the “See Something, Say Something Initiative and Anonymous Reporting System.” Maximus talked about the need for students, teachers, and administrators to constantly remind themselves that many students, especially those feeling marginalized or unsupported, may be feeling overwhelmed and isolated. Maximus further emphasized the importance of reporting the warning signs of mental health issues as follows, “I constantly urge everyone to educate themselves on the warning signs, report concerning behavior, and look out for one another. I am reminded of a quote by the late actor Robin Williams who once said, Everyone you meet is fighting a battle you know nothing about. Be kind. Always.”
The Rotary Club of Los Alamos feels that this is a very worthy effort and commends Maximus for his service to the youth in Los Alamos.
When receiving the award Maximus was joined by his mother Judy Posada, his father Enrique Posada, and LAHS teacher Margo Batha. Rotarian Vincent Chiravalle conducted the award ceremony. LAHS teacher Michelle Rosette nominated Maximus for the award.