Rotary Youth Leadership Awards students Abhinav Sundaresan and Anish Shah were the guests of honor at the April 8th Rotary Club luncheon meeting held at Michael’s Restaurant on Street Road.
Marc Cohen, Head of Interact, Rotary’s club for youths who want to connect with others in their community or school, introduced Abhinav and Anish to those in attendance.
Abhinav and Anish, both juniors at Bensalem High School, are members of the Rotary Youth Leadership Awards (RYLA) program. This program is run by Rotary and allows members to participate in various presentations, activities, and workshops that cover a variety of topics.
RYLA encourages servant leadership in youths by recognizing and rewarding deserving 11th grade students who are chosen to attend RYLA as an “award” for their past and present leadership and service activities. These select young people attend an all-expenses-paid camp where they are inspired by a diverse group of exceptional speakers, make life-long friends through fellowship activities, and discuss the ethical and social issues of today. The result is that these students return to their schools and communities motivated to take on additional leadership roles and to find additional ways to serve.
Abhinav and Anish recently completed RYLA training at Freedom’s Foundation in Valley Forge. Topics of discussion at the camp included the Rotary foreign exchange student program, bullying awareness and prevention and guest speaker Jay Scott, father of the late Alex Scott of Alex’s Lemonade Stand. They also participated in Stop Hunger Now, a program designed to feed the hungry in poverty and disaster stricken areas, by helping to assemble 14,500 meals for delivery. In addition, Abhinav and Anish were put to the test in various activities which simulated the hardships endured by those in dire situations.
Both young men made speeches at the luncheon about the valuable knowledge and skills they gained as a result of attending the camp and how they intend to put them to good use in the Bensalem community. Abhinav was inspired by Jay Scott’s presentation and hopes to work with the Bensalem High School Community Service Club in partnering with Alex’s Lemonade Stand for a future fundraiser. Anish hopes to one day participate in Rotaplast International, a non-profit initiative run by Rotary International, which provides free reconstructive operations and treatment for children in need worldwide.
Abhinav and Anish are sure to continue to make Bensalem and The Rotary Club very proud through their community service endeavors.
The Bensalem Rotary is an all-volunteer organization dedicated to improving the lives of Bensalem residents and raising money to help those in need. The club meets every Tuesday at 12:00 a.m. at Michael’s Restaurant on Street Road for an informal luncheon and occasional guest presentations. All are welcome to join for lunch or to do a 15 minute presentation about your nonprofit or community organization. To learn more about the Bensalem Rotary, visit www.bensalemrotary.org.