“Service above self,” the Rotary International ethos, is embraced by Lawrence and developed in its students, five of whom recently received the prestigious Rotary Foundation Ambassadorial Scholarship. The Appleton Downtown Rotary Club has supported three of the students who have gone on to transformational international experiences.
These scholarships, offered by the Rotary Foundation to improve international understanding and relations among people from different nations, fund yearlong academic and community service work in a foreign country. Each student conducts one or more service projects abroad while serving as a “goodwill ambassador” to the Rotary clubs and local community in the host nation—and the entire Rotary experience encourages the student, upon returning home, to devote time to improving the lives of people in their own country.
“We’re so proud that Lawrence students have won our Rotary District Ambassadorial Scholarship three years in a row,” said Rich Redman, the Ambassadorial Scholarship Committee co-chair for the Appleton Downtown Rotary Club. “Our local and district selection committees continue to be impressed by both the type of students Lawrence attracts from across the country and the quality of education they get while they are on campus.”
Natalie Grattan ’10, used her support from the Appleton Downtown Rotary Club, to work toward her post-graduate diploma in public health at the University of Otago in New Zealand. Her primary service project, a public health survey, explored the effects of government budget cuts on in-home elderly care. Grattan also raised money for local charities, participating in cemetery clean-ups and knitting blankets for newborns from poor families. “My experience as a Rotary Ambassadorial Scholar has been nothing short of amazing,” Grattan said.
“I have learned new things, seen new places and gained invaluable insight into my own values and assumptions. I am incredibly grateful to my Appleton [Rotary] Club and District 6220 for providing me with this opportunity.”
All of the five Lawrence students who received Rotary Ambassadorial Scholarships were rewarded with life-changing experiences. As Rachel Young ’12, who will spend the 2012–13 academic year at National Taiwan University, said of her scholarship supported by the Appleton Downtown Rotary Club, “The Rotary award was an amazing gift, an affirmation of a lot of hard work and an opportunity for me to give back to the community.”