October 29, 2012
It sure was nice to see everyone at our 16th meeting of the 2012-2013 year. I arrived at about 11:45am and there were only a few people there…but, after turning around a few times and clicking my ruby boots together, chanting “there’s no place like home”, the venue filled up nicely. After sitting down and getting fully caught up on the Giant’s World Series victory (YEAH!), we were called to order for the flag ceremony, and what a surprise we got. Jamie Carroll, who is with Rotoract and was a former Exchange Student of ours, gave us a rousing rendition of “America the Beautiful”. It was truly splendid, and she got a well deserved round of applause. Next, for the invocation Ron Pierre came up, and reminding us all of the pounding “perfect storm” Sandy was delivering back east, read a nice prayer dedicated to storms. Thank you Ron!
We had a good turnout of visiting Rotarians this week. Kathy Miller, who is President-elect for the Southwest club was there, as were Mike Brown from Fortuna, Liana Simpson with the Old Town club, and Patty Needham also from the Southwest club.
Not to be outdone, we had a great group of visiting guests as well. Jay Reed introduced us to several people from his office, Michael Boreing, Patty Needham, and Heidi (forgive me, I didn’t get her last name). In addition, Eric Bergel introduced the new student body President of Eureka High, Ben Ross, and former President Izzy Piland. It was great to welcome them all to break bread with us.
We had two birthdays announced, Lane Strope whose annual special day is the 25th of October, and Doug Lanning who celebrates his naming day on the 27th of October. We also had three birthday celebrants at the head table – Jana Jones, who graces us each October 3rd, Steve Lafferty whose birthday is the 3rd of October, and Bruce Smith whose day is the 18th of October.
There were no membership or personal anniversaries announced this week.
So let’s now look at the announcements – we had a fair number to share.
First, Steve Justus announced the VA Connect concert, which will be sharing lifetime photos of local veterans and musically celebrating their lives with the Eureka Symphony playing an Aaron Copeland Suite. Tickets are $12 for adults, and $5 for kids.
Second, the Eureka High Interact club is newly invigorated. It advertised Interact during the Chalk on the Walk at Eureka High before homecoming. They’ve volunteered at the Freshwater School Festival to carve pumpkins which they then delivered to Timber Ridge. They are gearing up to help the Toys for Tots and Food for People programs. They’re also unveiling a Facebook page soon.
Third, Lost Coast Rotaract was very successful during the Arts in Line event on October 21st, raising about $2000 for an international project in the Tibetan region, and this is very opportune given the recent earthquake there. In addition they had 40 exchange students (including our own two, Franco and Larissa) who participated in the Spirit and Spirits haunting and imbibing event in Old Town that raised an additional $2000 for Helsey Guide at the Clark Museum.
Fourth, Sally Arnot announced that Arts Alive is having a ribbon cutting ceremony for the garden the Eureka Heritage Society restored at 315 2nd Street in Eureka, at 6pm, on Saturday, November 3rd.
Fifth, another reminder that the Beautification Project for the northerly interior gateway to Eureka is happening on Saturday, November 3rd, at 9am. We need as many hands on deck as we can get to help with weeding and bark, says Jill McDonald.
Sixth, we learned that Ron Pierre was recently honored for his work helping Service Members and their families. He’s helped over 300 families over the last year or so. In any case, he was named the National Ombudsman of the Year in Washington, DC, recently, and received the award from the Secretary of Defense, Leon Panetta. In addition, around the same time he was promoted so that now he is the Ombudsman for the Western 14 states. Finally, at the award ceremony he was given an award of $250, Ron graciously declared that he wants that to go towards two Paul Harris related funds. Thank you Ron, and well done!
Seventh, and the highlight of the announcements, our esteemed President, Nancy Dean, made a declaration around our annual Vocational Service Month award. This award is in recognition of the Rotarian who exemplifies the Four Way Test and the Rotary Code of Conduct in their vocational life and who has made a contribution to the vocational development in the Club or community.
In a surprise and loudly applauded announcement, Dean declared that the Board had unanimously decided that this award be renamed in the name of our newly departed and much beloved member, Rotarian Scott Guild. So, henceforth, this award will be known as Scott Guild Vocational Service award. In his many years as a coach to local girls basketball, and as an instructor at Humboldt State University, Scott gained a well-deserved reputation as a “by the book” type of man. Scott also provided numerous internships for HSU students at his firm. So, with his daughter Katelyn currently in South Carolina, and his son down in San Diego, it was fitting that the Managing Partner of his firm Aalfs & Evans, Michael Boreing, accept the award on behalf of Scott’s family with some of the other partners of the firm present.
Bruce Rupp then came up to introduce the first recipient of the Scott Guild Vocational Service award, Greg Williston. Greg has served the community in many roles including Eureka Chamber of Commerce (2013 in-coming President), Youth Ambassador Program leader, Adopt-A-Street Program supervising youth volunteers, Eureka Open Space, Parks and Recreation Commissioner, and organizing the volunteer work on the Rotary project at Cloney Field (Eureka High). Greg also serves currently on our club’s Youth Exchange Committee and is hosting Franco, our exchange student from Chile this year. Greg was quite humble in accepting the award while again honoring Scott Guild.
Next, Bruce Rupp came up again to introduce us to this week’s speakers, Kathy Miller of Economic Fuel, and Susi Huschle with the Humboldt County Office of Education, who serves as the College & Career Resources Coordinator. The theme of their presentation was the Decade of Difference.
Kathy Miller started with a brief introduction of Youth Exchange and its plans for next year. Next she discussed the Economic Fuel program, which started in 2006, and which has been extremely successful at seeing kids fulfill on graduating from high school and then go on to successful attend college. By 2007, in the program started by Chuck Smith, the local Economic Fuel won an award for the number of participants who graduated from high school, and the percentage that then went on to college.
Susi Huschle then came up and gave us whirlwind presentation on the Decade of Difference. It looked like she could have provided a lot more information, if only she had more time. In any case, the Decade of Difference is all about planning for the future of our children, making sure as many of them not only graduate from high school, but who then go on to college. One of the important goals of this program is to see our kids come back to Humboldt after they’ve completed their college education. The various programs associated with Decade of Difference currently serve 64% of students in our county.
One of the key messages Susi shared with us is the concept that there’s not just one way to win. Going to college is just one avenue, but it’s not the only one. However, regardless of the path they follow, gaining the skills needed to get good long term employment is key. Back in 1960, of all jobs the jobs available, only 60% required unskilled labor. By contrast in 2000 about 65% of all job required skilled labor. Relative to these numbers, and to put them in perspective with high school graduation and college, out of every 20 high school students, 6 drop out, 6 graduate and immediately go to work, 8 go to college but only 4 of those graduates in 5 years, and only 2 of those actually win a job their college education prepared them for. The bottom line is that gaining the skills necessary to get good employment is key.
In the final portion of her presentation Susi talked about her role as a College and Career Resources Coordinator. They have lots of tools available, and some of the programs she mentioned included: Student Planners and Career Counselors for kids in 7th to 12th grades; the online Navigator & HUB websites; Career Mentorships; Middle School Career Camp; and Cal-SOAP (Student Opportunity & Access Program).
In a closing comment Susi declared that there are many ways to connect with our young students, and it’s never too early to start. Participation in community panels, offering internships, Job Shadowing, Career Mentorship, and even just straight forward financial support are all needed.
What Susi and Kathy shared is definitely food for thought, and even better, a call to action!
The Rotary Club was very grateful to hear from Kathy Miller and Susi Huschle. The club had them sign a book for our library project.
Presented in Rotary Service by Bruce Smith