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?
Recently Rotary welcomed Eleanor Henderson as a Distinguished Student of Service. Henderson is indeed one who has made service part of her life and is also a well-rounded student. She is a member of the National Honor Society, National Math Honor Society, and the Hilltalkers high school speech and debate team where she serves as team captain for the Lincoln-Douglas debate. In addition, Henderson volunteers for several activities at her church, including performing music at church masses as part of the choir and band and helping to organize and run church retreats. She is also a member of the Young Voices of the Santa Fe Opera and is working on her Gold Award with Girl Scouts.
In her Rotary essay, Henderson shared one of the challenges facing today’s youth: a lack of local activities for teens when they want to take a break from school work. She described her work to create the Teen Advisory Board to the Bradbury Science Museum, which helps to promote awareness among teens of this unique local museum as well as organize teen-focused events at the museum. Henderson wrote, “I created the Teen Advisory Board to give teens something fun to do other than homework, and to show that science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) can be more than just a career path: it can be fun. Our Board is planning a big youth event at the Bradbury Museum with things like robot fights, Bill Nye screening, free food, and more. We plan on putting together more teen-focused events, like special exhibition nights and chances to talk with LANL scientists, as well as giving high schoolers access to the Bradbury’s incredible resources.”
The Rotary Club of Los Alamos commends Henderson on her service to the youth in Los Alamos.
Henderson is the daughter of Kristin Henderson and Brad Henderson. She named Los Alamos High School language arts teacher Christine Engelbrecht as the person who has had the most positive influence in her life.