Rotary is the oldest service organization in the world. Its motto 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 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
- 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.
April 30, the Rotary Club welcomed Sarah Crotzer as a Distinguished Student of Service; she was introduced by family friend Christine Sierk, who noted that Crotzer is indeed someone who has made service part of her life and is also a well-rounded student. In addition to an impressive grade-point average, Crotzer is a member of the National Honor Society, participates in the Young Women’s Personal Progress organization, her church Youth Program, and is an LDS seminary student. She also plays the violin and is concert-mistress of the Los Alamos High School premier orchestra. She is the cofounder of Youth Helping Refugee Youth, a 2-year-old organization that works to help resettle refugee youth in the Albuquerque area. Crotzer also volunteers with the Biblical Breakfast Burrito Club at LAHS where she is Club Secretary, and with the Salvation Army where she collects donations as a bell-ringer and violinist.
Sarah shared one of the challenges facing today’s youth, namely the special needs of refugee students trying to assimilate into American life and succeed in school.
As cofounder of Youth Helping Refugee Youth, she has organized supplemental school supply drives so that young people in Los Alamos can donate essential items for refugee students in New Mexico, including deodorant, socks for PE classes, earbuds, thumb drives for computer work, and $25 Walmart gift cards for class-specific items such as lab notebooks and math calculators.
In her essay, Crotzer described helping two female Afghani students who came to New Mexico to study at the Santa Fe Desert Academy. “I collected winter coats for the two students and welcomed them to Los Alamos when they visited our local ice rink. I volunteered to raise money for additional students to come to the United Sates, continue their education, and escape from the violence and war in their own countries.”
Rotary feels that this is a very worthwhile effort and commends Crotzer on her service to the youth in Los Alamos and from around the world.
Crotzer is the daughter of Laura and Ron Crotzer; she recognized Michelle Rosette, LAHS orchestra teacher, as the individual who has had the most positive influence in her life.