Seniors exemplify ‘service above self’

Serving others is the foundation of Rotary; civic service appears everywhere in the club, from its motto to the work members perform.

While adults make up Rotary’s membership, the club still celebrates and acknowledges what younger generations contribute to community service.
During the regular meeting Tuesday at Cottonwoods on the Green restaurant, the Rotary Club of Los Alamos honored several graduating seniors for their civic services.
Chloe Madsen Keilers and Kimberly Pestovich received Service Awards while Marcela Mas received the Great Expectations Award.
The awards provided each recipient with a $1,500 scholarship. Due to successful fundraisers, the amount was increased this year; previously the scholarships were $1,000.
Judy Goldie, a member of the Service Award committee, said all the recipients “have labored in service.”
Serving others, she added, “leads to a better world for all of us.”
Goldie reported that Madsen Kielers considered herself to be similar to a turtle. Madsen Kielers, who is deaf, described herself as hunched over books and too afraid to come out of her shell for fear of miscommunication and being misunderstood. Goldie added that Madsen Kielers responded to this fear by taking action. She became a math tutor, founded a sign language club, raised money for the Hearing Service Dogs and for Hearing Voices of New Mexico. She also created a blog, HearChloe.
Madsen Keilers was accepted into Stanford University and plans to study physics/astrophysics.
Pestovich, Goldie said, has an extensive record in service. She has volunteered for many organizations including Key Club, National Honors Society, the Empty Bowls Project, Salvation Army, Vacation Bible School and was involved in scouting.
Goldie said in an essay regarding how service makes a difference, Pestovich wrote, the Rotary’s four-way test, which asks four questions: is it the truth; is it fair to all concerned; does it promote good will and better friendship and will it be beneficial to all concerned, “builds a strong foundation for service by promoting humble teamwork and friendship… In service, a small personal sacrifice benefits all… it only takes one light to start a flame.”

Pestovich plans to pursue a degree in materials science or chemical or mechanical engineering at New Mexico State University. Her goals include obtaining an advanced degree and working at a research institute.

Mas’ award, the Great Expectations Award, is not given every year. Goldie said the club gives this award to an applicant who will fulfill “great expectations” through motivation and dedication that will improve a part of the world that the recipient comes into contact.

Goldie said Mas has overcome challenges in her life. She has lived in several countries including Paraguay, her birthplace, the United States, and Nicaragua. Besides the series of moves, Mas has had to deal with the loss of a family member. Yet, she is active in her church and participates in swimming, track and country. She plans to pursue a degree in nursing at Brigham Young University. Ultimately, she would like to pursue neonatal care.

Looking at this year’s recipients, Goldie said, “I think our committee did a wonderful job. We’re so proud of you.”

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