Rotarian Vincent Chiravalle presents a Distinguished Student of Service certificate to LAHS junior Ian Swavely, on behalf of the Rotary Club of Los Alamos as his parents, Colleen and Dave Swavely, share the moment with LAHS teacher Christine Engelbrecht, May 16, at Cottonwood on the Greens. Photo by Tim Bullock.
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 May 16 the Rotary Club of Los Alamos presented Ian Swavely, a Los Alamos High School junior with a Distinguished Student of Service award. Ian is indeed one who has made service part of his life and he is also a very well-rounded student. Ian is a member of the National Honor Society and Natural Helpers. He is a versatile student athlete who completes on the baseball team and the hockey team. In addition to these activities Ian worked as a lifeguard at the Canyon Vista pool for 2 years.
In his essay Ian shared with the Club one of the challenges facing today’s youth; namely the younger generation missing a strong sense of patriotism and what it is like to serve in the military. Ian talked about his involvement with Wreaths Across America, and how this has helped him to better understand and appreciate the sacrifices that veterans make for our country. He described how Wreaths Across American places Christmas wreaths on the graves of veterans and what motivated him to get involved with this activity: “I have participated in this activity because I think it is important that those who risk their lives in the military get some form of recognition, even when they have passed. This project is important as the military has been getting backlash over the past couple decades. The ideas of bravery and patriotism have been getting more and more foreign to younger generations. If this continues to happen, serving in the military will become less respected. By honoring the deceased veterans and their families during this special time of year, I have used Wreaths Across America to further educate myself and others on the sacrifices that veterans make for our country.”
The Rotary Club of Los Alamos feels that this is a very worthy effort and commends Ian for his service to the youth in Los Alamos.
When receiving the award Ian was joined by his mother Colleen Swavely, his father Dave Swavely, and LAHS teacher Christine Engelbrecht, who nominated him for the award. Rotarian Vincent Chiravalle conducted the award ceremony.