High school students, including eight from Kent, attend the Rotary Youth Leadership Award Northwest Conference in Longbranch, in Pierce County on the Puget Sound. COURTESY PHOTO, Rotary Youth Leadership Award

High school students, including eight from Kent, attend the Rotary Youth Leadership Award Northwest Conference in Longbranch, in Pierce County on the Puget Sound. COURTESY PHOTO, Rotary Youth Leadership Award

8 Kent high school students participate in Rotary leadership conference

Students selected for their potential to be leaders and dedication to community service

Eight Kent School District students participated in the annual Rotary Youth Leadership Award Northwest Conference after their selection for their potential to be leaders and their dedication to community service.

The eight high school students are Panha Keo and Tunvita Keo from Kentwood; Janic Liu, Atticus Phan, Eden Solomon and Brianna Tom from Kentridge; and Morgan Montgomery and Lilah Penaflor from Kentlake.

Students who were selected for the Rotary Youth Leadership Award (RYLA) received a scholarship to attend the conference June 6-9 at YMCA Camp Colman in Longbranch, a community in Pierce County on the Key Peninsula, which lies on Puget Sound.

Since 1969, Rotary clubs from King, Pierce, Thurston, Kitsap, Jefferson and Clallum counties in Washington and Vancouver Island, British Columbia, Canada have sponsored high school students to attend this four-day conference focusing on leadership, team building and community service, according to a June 11 press release from Rotary Youth Leadership Award. Kent students were sponsored by Covington Rotary Club, Kent Rotary Club and Lakewood Rotary Club.

Through the course of the program, students took part in personal development activities and team building exercises that challenged them to step outside their comfort zones, practice new leadership skills, and learn about community engagement.

They also learned about servant leadership from local speakers, including Tahmina Martelly, who shared about Paradise Parking Plots community garden in Kent.

The program is organized by Rotarian volunteers and executed by young alumni of Rotary youth programs who are selected through a competitive hiring process. Kent School District graduates who served on staff included Leilani Nahaku (Kentlake, 2020), Aishreen Deol (Kentwood, 2023), and Kathleen Nguyen (Kentridge).

Rotary is a worldwide organization of more than 1.4 million business, professional and community leaders. Members of Rotary clubs, known as Rotarians, provide humanitarian service, encourage high ethical standards in all vocations, and help build goodwill and peace in the world.

There are 33,000 Rotary clubs in more than 200 countries and geographical areas. Clubs are nonpolitical, nonreligious and include members of all cultures, races, genders and creeds. The Foundation is a not-for-profit corporation supported solely by voluntary contributions from Rotarians and friends of the Foundation who share its vision of a better world.

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