Rotary Club President Vincent Chiravalle recently presented a Distinguished Student of Service Award to Carlos Chacon-Cuesta, who was joined by his parents Isabel Cuesta and Luis Chacón. Photo by Kurt Steinhaus
The Motto of Rotary is Service above Self. To support this, the Rotary Club of Los Alamos honors nine “Distinguished Students of Service” in their junior year of high school each academic year.
Students are first nominated by their teachers who are asked to select those who:
have given positive contributions to the 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?
May 28, the Rotary Club of Los Alamos recognized Carlos Chacón-Cuesta as a Distinguished Student of Service. He is indeed one who has made service part of his life and is also a well-rounded student. Chacón-Cuesta is a member of the Los Alamos High School (LAHS) Student Council, Boy Scouts, and the teen youth group at Immaculate Heart of Mary Parish.
As a member of Link Crew, he helps incoming freshmen adjust to high school by assisting them with classes and engaging them in fun student activities. In addition to these activities, Chacón-Cuesta plays high school varsity soccer and was part of a team that won second place in the State Tournament. He also competes as a member of the Hilltalkers, the LAHS speech and debate team, and placed third in the State Speech and Debate tournament for the Duo event.
Chacón-Cuesta shared one of the challenges facing today’s youth: the use of electronic cigarettes and vaping. In his Rotary essay, he cited current research about the harmful effects of vaping including how it damages the immune system cells in the body; he also cited current statistical studies showing that people who use e-cigarettes have roughly a 23% greater chance of starting to smoke normal cigarettes relative to people who do not use e-cigarettes.
Chacón-Cuesta further discussed how he would make students aware of the risks associated with e-cigarette use. He wrote, “I would have experts speak to classes in the high school, middle school, and even elementary schools. Kids of all ages need to know what they are actually putting in their bodies, since the manufactures of e cigarettes don’t have to put the ingredients on the label. Secondly, I would try to give kids a good replacement for e-cigarettes such as gum which is not harmful to them.”
The Rotary Club of Los Alamos feels that this is a very worthy effort and commends Chacón-Cuesta on his service to the youth in Los Alamos.
Chacón-Cuesta was joined at the recognition ceremony by his parents Luis Chacón and Isabel Cuesta. The teacher he feels who has had the most influence on his life, LAHS Language Arts teacher Christine Engelbrecht, was not able to attend.