From left, Rotary President Vincent Chiravalle, Distinguished Student of Service Miguel Chacón-Cuesta and his parents Luis Chacón and Isabel Cuesta. Photo by Linda Hull
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 to learning;
- are good citizens, are respectful of their peers and teachers; and
- 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.
Recently Rotary welcomed Miguel Chacón-Cuesta as a Distinguished Student of Service. Chacón-Cuesta is indeed one who has made service part of his life and is also a well-rounded student with an outstanding GPA. He is a member of the National Honor Society and high school Student Council. As a member of Boy Scouts, Chacón-Cuesta is completing his Eagle Scout project; as a member of the youth group at Immaculate Heart of Mary Parish, he helps with the Angel Tree program, which provides Christmas gifts for underprivileged children.
He also volunteers at the Mountain Elementary School Halloween Carnival. In addition to these activities, Chacón-Cuesta plays high school varsity soccer during the fall and club soccer during the spring. He competes on the high school speech and debate team, The Hilltalkers, and as a team, he and his brother placed third in the State Speech and Debate Tournament.
In his application essay, Chacón-Cuesta shared one of the challenges facing today’s youth: namely students giving in to peer pressure, leading to harmful decisions such as using drugs. He described how he would help students become aware of the dangers of peer pressure and how they can better cope with it. He wrote, “I would address this problem by arranging for students to hear from young guest speakers who made terrible decisions due to peer pressure. I would also create a pamphlet with information on peer pressure including examples and how to respond to those who are causing the peer pressure. I would make sure that public areas such as libraries, teen centers, and pods have these pamphlets, as well as distributing them directly to middle school and high school students.”
During the recognition, Chacón-Cuesta was accompanied by his parents Isabel Cuesta and Luis Chacón. He named LAHS language arts teacher Christine Engelbrecht as the teacher who has had the most positive influence in his life.
The members of the Rotary Club of Los Alamos feel that this is a very worthy effort and commend Miguel Chacón-Cuesta on his service to the youth in Los Alamos.