From left, Rotary Club President Vincent Chiravalle congratulates LAHS junior Tiana Lopez as she receives the Distinguished Student of Service Award Tuesday at Cottonwood on the Green. Lopez is accompanied by her teacher Lori Thompson, her mother Shannandoah Lopez and family friend Justin Ramsey. Photo by Linda Hull
The Rotary Club of Los Alamos recognized Tiana Lopez as a Distinguished Student of Service at its weekly meeting Tuesday at Cottonwood on the Greens.
Lopez has made service part of her life and also is a well-rounded student, maintaining an impressive grade-point average. She volunteers as a student assistant at the Topper Library and is a member of the Youth Mobilizers and Leadership teams at the Teen Center, where she helps organize activities for local students including Black Light Masquerade, Escape Room, Laser Tag Game and other dance-related activities.
In addition, Lopez was a student volunteer at a Pig n’ Fig auction, working in the kitchen for several hours, taking food orders from the staff, and preparing side dishes. Lopez has pursued a wide variety of academic interests by taking courses such as Culinary Arts, Prostart, Drama, Creative Writing, Beginning Photography, Digital Photography and Beginning Guitar.
Lopez shared with Rotarians one of the challenges facing today’s youth: namely, helping teenagers avoid dangerous situations caused by drinking. In her essay, Lopez described her efforts to obtain community funding for a “No Fault Crisis” hotline, which teens who are out drinking can call and get help from other teen volunteers. When a call is made to the hotline, the person requesting help must give a designated pick-up location and ensure that the teen in need is present at that location.
A record is kept of every teen picked up through the service, and teens who receive assistance are required to participate in community service projects. Lopez further described some of the dangerous attitudes and behaviors that put teens at risk.
She writes, “Teens think it is okay to drink as long as they have a designated driver, but that is not true. Most teens don’t think ahead when they go out, and there are quite a few who don’t know their limits because they are first-time drinkers. I want to help teens, and I know that the community and parents want the same thing. It is time to start something new.”
“We feel that this is a very worthy effort and commend Lopez on her service to the youth in Los Alamos,” Rotary Vice President Linda Hull said.
Lopez is the daughter of Shannandoah Lopez, who was joined by family friend Justin Ramsey. Lopez named LAHS Language Arts teacher Lori Thompson as the most influential teacher in her life.
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
- 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.