Lake Houston’s future leaders were introduced at a recent meeting of the Rotary Club of Lake Houston, (from left) Rotarian Christy Tarkington; Junior Rotarians John Billings, Taryn Tezeno, Kathleen Ortiz, Damion Norment, Nathaly Corno, Simone Heck, Daniel Mandujano and Hayden Sassaman; Club President Kathryn Lemman; Junior Rotarians Claire Lifrieri and Sorrel Estrada; and Rotarian Jennifer Karlstrom. Two students representing Humble High School are not pictured. Photo by Tom Broad

— Junior Rotarians introduce themselves to Lake Houston club —

No doubt about it, the Rotarians of Lake Houston had come face-to-face with Lake Houston’s future leaders.

When Rotarian Pam McNair asked a table of newly-introduced Junior Rotarians if they would like to participate in the Club’s food donation, the high school seniors didn’t miss a beat.

“We’re all in,” the Junior Rotarians said collectively, agreeing to help collect food that will be given to local not-for-profits this holiday season.

“This is why I joined Rotary,” Jennifer Karlstrom had said earlier in the meeting as she and Rotarian Christy Tarkington brought each Junior Rotarian to the podium to introduce themselves. “We always talk about changing the world. Well, this table of Junior Rotarians is how we do it.”

The young Rotarians were the featured “speakers” at the Nov. 11 meeting of the Rotary Club of Lake Houston at the Lake Houston Family YMCA. They are part of a joint program of the Lake Houston Club, the Summer Creek Satellite Club, and Humble ISD. In addition to Karlstrom and Tarkington, the program is guided by Humble ISD Trustee Nancy Morrison, Dr. Roger Brown with Humble ISD and Dr. Bonnie Longnion.

The Junior Rotary is a leadership building program, now in its fifth year. All participants are seniors. Teachers and counselors from each Humble ISD high school selected four to six exemplary students who were interviewed by the local Rotarians before two were chosen from each school.

“This was a tough selection process because all of the students interviewed are active in their school and in their community,” said Karlstrom. “These young people, especially the ones we selected, already have shown leadership skills on their own campuses and are serving their community the way our own Rotarians are. Through this program, we have an opportunity to channel their enthusiasm and help to guide them.”

The new young Rotarians underwent an orientation, were paired with a mentor from the Lake Houston or Summerwood club and will take part in the Lake Houston club’s various projects including ringing the bell for the Salvation Army and building beds in January for the Sleep in Heavenly Peace project.

“These are such great kids,” said Tarkington. “Being from different schools, they didn’t know each other but, at orientation, they all just clicked. They are all leaders.”

The Junior Rotarians and their mentors:

Atascocita High School

Taryn Tezeno, mentored by Christina Allen

John Billings, mentored by Billy Helmick

Humble High School

Colleen Powell, mentored by Christy Tarkington

Julian Soto, mentioned by Juan Aybar

Kingwood High School

Claire Lifrieri, mentored by Jessica Penney

Hayden Sassaman, mentored by Garth Hentges

Kingwood Park High School

Kathleen Ortiz, mentored by Jen Karlstrom

Sorrell Estrada, mentored by Talybra Hollins

Sconzo Early College High School

Simone Heck, mentored by Debbie Kevlin

Daniel Mandujano, mentored by Danny Contreras

Summer Creek High School

Nathaly Corno, mentored by Valerie Copley

Damion Norment, mentored by Destry Dokes

The Rotary Club of Lake Houston Area meets Wednesdays, 11:45 a.m., at the Lake Houston YMCA. The Summer Creek Satellite Club meets at 8:30 a.m. on the second and fourth Tuesdays at the third floor Nimble Office Suite, 250 Assay St., in Generation Park. To learn more about the advantages of being a Rotarian, lharotary.com.

Tom Broad
Author: Tom BroadEmail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Columnist
Besides being a proud graduate of The University of Nebraska-Lincoln and, therefore, a Cornhusker, I am retired from Memorial Hermann. I am a correspondent and columnist for Lake Houston's hometown paper, The Tribune, as well as a director of the Lake Houston Redevelopment Corporation, a member of the board of the Humble Area Assistance Ministries, and Volunteer Extraordinaire for the Lake Houston Area Chamber.

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