2017 Scholarship Recipients

Rotary Centennial Scholars and Brown Family Scholarship Winners Announced

We were pleased to recognize recipients of the 2017 Rotary Centennial and Brown Family scholarships at the July 10 and July 17 club meetings.  All recipients received a recognition plaque and told members about themselves and their plans.    This year’s Rotary Centennial scholars are: Tasia Brownell (Meredith College), Desmond Jackson (Campbell University) (unable to attend), Laura Duran Velazquez (Durham Tech), and Armani Williams (NCCU).  All are Student U students. The Brown Family scholar is Laura Salazar (UNC Chapel Hill).   Laura is an Emily K student.

Each scholarship recipient will receive a $1,000 scholarship freshman year, and with continued college enrollment and academic success an additional $1,000 scholarship sophomore year.

Student U is a college-access organization founded in the proposition that all students in Durham have the ability to succeed. Student U creates a pipeline of services to support students through middle school, high school, and college.

Brown Family Scholarship recipients are members of the Emily K program.  The K to College programs of the Emily K Center develop educated student leaders who achieve in school, gain entry to and graduate from college, and ultimately break the cycle of poverty in their families.

Meg Solera and Marge Nordstrom coordinated the awarding of the scholarships that were presented on July 10 and July 17.

Pictured above are Alexandra Zagbayou, Executive Director of Student U; Holly Guss, College Adviser of Student U;  Meg Solera Committee Co-chair; Laura Duran Velazquez, Rotary Centenarian Scholar: Blanca Velazquez, Laura’s mother and Bill Ingram, President ,Durham Technical Community College.

Pictured from left to right are Holly Guss, College Adviser of Student U; Armani Williams, Rotary Centennial Scholar: Tasia Bromell, Rotary Centennial Scholar: Laura Salazar, Brown Family Scholarship; Meg Solara, Co-Chair , Scholarship Committee; Robert Polanco, Associate Directory of College Success, Emily K Center and Adam Eigenrauch,Executive Director, Emily K Center.

EDCI End of Summer Camp Craft Event.

Volunteers needed for 15 one hour shifts, 5 to setup, 5 to serve and 5 to clean-up Friday, August 4 at the Maureen Joy Charter School on Driver Street.

EDCI’s Summer Camp is ending and we could use your help to wrap up with Arts and Crafts and a big thank you to our campers, staff and volunteers during lunch. Over 60 campers enjoyed 6 weeks of camp this summer with EDCI at Maureen Joy Charter School. Please come out and have some fun! Contact Rotarian Brady Surles at brady_surles@hotmail.com or DeDreana with East Durham Children’s Initative at DeDreana.Freeman@edci.org for more information or with questions.

To Sign up click here.

Welcome Rotarians – Durham, UK, Oct 24-31

We look forward to having our fellow Rotarians from Durham, England, Oct.24-31.
There will be three couples and two singles.  We need host families for their stay, plus
anyone who would like to have some or all of them for dinner any evening.

Tony & Brenda Ford: Retired Royal Air Force; Retired Educator.  2017-18 Vice Pres.
They love music, (Tony plays the Tuba), singing in several choirs, and grandchildren

David & Jillian Jackson: Business Consultant; Radiographer
They love gardening and hiking, and their small children (4 & 6)

Edward & Cliona Kear: Retired Earth Scientist working with oil companies; 2017-18 Pres.
Retired Financial advisor
They both love gardening, hiking, flower arranging, and grandchildren.
Edward wants someone to explain Am baseball and Am football to him.

Clive Beddoes: Retired educator.
He loves music, hiking, and studying the American Civil War
He also says he is an Apple Computer Addict.

Judy Morris: Retired educator, worked with Disadvantaged Children. Secretary, 2015-18
Also worked with a National Dementia Charity.
She loves travel, needle crafts, and her grandson.

New Member: Dr. Kenneth Chandler

Please welcome new member Dr. Kenneth Chandler to the club. Dr. Chandler was sponsored by Sheridan van Wagenberg and Sam Nichols.

Kenneth (Dr. “C”) received his bachelor’s degree from Guilford College, his master’s from the University of Pennsylvania, and his Ph.D. from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro.

Upon graduating from Guilford, he taught public school in Pennsylvania prior to beginning his career in higher education administration and finance at Lincoln University (PA).    He then continued his work in higher education project administration at Educational Testing Service (ETS) in Princeton, New Jersey –  working in the Graduate Record Examination and Special Testing Division.   He moved into the philanthropy arena at Guilford College and eventually excelled to the positon of special assistant to the president at Guilford College focusing on corporate and major donor relations.

Prior to his current work as Director of Development at Duke School, he served as Interim Vice Chancellor of Institutional Advancement at North Carolina Central University. He has also served as the Director of Development for Corporate and Foundation Relations at Winston-Salem State University (NC) and the American Council on Education in Washington DC.

Kenneth has two children – His oldest – Kenneth II –  attended high school in Fairfax County, Virginia and performed at high academic standards to be admitted to UNC as an out of state student.  He then attended Vanderbilt University School of Law and is an attorney in Washington DC.  His youngest, Sharice, attended Cary Academy where Kenneth and his wife, Glynis, were active volunteers and members of the parent advisory board.  Sharice attended both the University of San Francisco and has her B.A. from Guilford College.    Sharice is the assistant director of admission for Cary Academy.

His wife (Glynis) – whom he met while in undergraduate school at Guilford –  is assistant head of school at The Hill Center – Durham, NC.

Program Report – Alex Protzman: LIFE Skills Foundation

Living Independently & Finding Empowerment

The acronym for LIFE Skills Foundation, spelled out above, is a completely appropriate name for this Durham non-profit. Originally known as the Carolina Outreach Foundation, the organization transitioned to LIFE Skills in 2013, Rotarian Ari Medoff explained in his introduction, to better address its mission to providing housing, life, and job skills for the community’s young adults in need.

Founding Director Alex Protzman earned his MSW (Master of Social Work) from NYU and focuses on LCSW (Licensed Clinical Social Work), supporting individuals specifically with mental and emotional health needs. LIFE Skills provides housing and wraparound support services to youth ages 15 – 24, Protzman explains, “because often they have nowhere else to go. They’ve aged out of foster care, they’re justice-involved, or their families can no longer support them, and they are not well served by either child or adult social services.”

Wraparound services involve seven fundamental areas: housing, employment, education, communication, financial literacy, development of a support network, and personal health (both physical and mental.) “These transitional youth are costly to society,” Protzman says. “Of young adults aging out of foster care, one in five will become homeless and one in four will become incarcerated. But until they can learn how to apply for credit, fill out an apartment lease, or even properly complete an application for college or a job, their future options are very limited.”

Currently, LIFE Skills owns eight residential units where they can house their youth. On-site staff support includes weekly support groups, training in basic home maintenance, and conflict resolution for 30 hours per week. “These young adults have little or no experience in how to live independently,” Protzman emphasizes. “So, we help them master simple skills that many of us take for granted such as grocery shopping or basic respect for a roommate. We work on incremental changes – ‘baby steps’ – but just as long as they keep moving forward.”

The problem is growing. Since 2013, the number of youth in foster care in Durham has increased by 47 percent. Each night, there are more than 80 young adults who are homeless, adding up to more than 700 per year. North Carolina has the second fastest growth rate of teenage homelessness in the nation.

LIFE Skills’ approach is working. Over 80 percent of its participants are either involved in an education program or are employed; most youth find work within three months of enrollment. Participants are required to be employed and/or in school a minimum of 30 hours per week. One-third of their income is “paid” to LIFE Skills in the form of rent; the organization actually banks the money for each individual and pays it back when they are ready to move on from the program. “That way they have a little nest egg that they have to manage responsibly to help them get started on their own two feet,” Protzman notes.

The organization has a number of community partners, including Durham Public Schools and the Department of Social Services. Protzman and his team dream of expanding the program and its partnerships to increase its collective impact by purchasing additional residential units; improving access to regular medical, dental, and mental health services; providing year-round, ‘round the clock access to support services for residents; and involving its participants in community service projects.

And that’s just for starters. According to the website (www.lifeskillsfound.org), “each transition youth we work with has the fundamental right to a life of happiness, full of possibility, and free from oppression.” That’s a goal that I daresay my Rotary colleagues would heartily agree with.

Submitted by: Carver C. Weaver

New Class of Innovation Fellows

Christopher Gergen introduced the next group of Innovation Fellows. From left to right are Alexandra Zagbayou, Beatrice Parker and Katherine Gill. Early in the fall they will be given a chance to introduce themselves to the whole group and talk some about their projects. If you get a chance before then to introduce yourself, please take the opportunity.