The Rotary Club of McLean honored five outstanding senior high-school students last week with Youth Achievement Awards. The students were selected because of their service to the community and the example they set for their peers.
Rotary president-elect Pamela Danner said, “It is a special day when we get to honor our outstanding youth. These awards are intended to recognize youth service to the community. These students have really gone out of their way to help other people. Each of these people has done service beyond self.”
Thomas Jefferson High School principal Elizabeth Lodal added that the Rotary was “honoring not only the intellect, but the contributions of these young people.”
Melanie Regan, a junior at Langley High School, was honored for her contribution to the Autism Program at her high school. Langley principal William Clendaniel said of her work with the program, “Her efforts make the school an extra special place to be.”
Ainsley Morris, a sophomore at the Potomac School, was honored for her long-standing record of service. Morris, at the age of 13, started a nonprofit company called Kids Helping Kids Inc., which raises money for charities in Alexandria. She also tutors each week at a homeless shelter and is involved in the Christmas in April program.
Edward Nadimi, a senior at Jefferson, was honored for his clinical studies at Georgetown Hospital, which have assisted hospital staff and patients. Nadimi, a first-generation Iranian who studies Farsi poetry in his spare time, also labors to raise funds for an organization in Iran that helps treat children with serious ailments.
Thanh Binh Tran, a senior at McLean High School, was honored for her dedication to incorporating her cultural heritage with the community at large. Vietnamese by birth, she has worked since she was 13 with a community outreach program that serve refugees from around the world. According to her principal, Don Weinheimer, she has embraced both her Vietnamese culture and her American culture by sharing her native dance with an average of 400 people a year, many of whom are senior citizens.
Alison Bishow, a senior at Langley High School, was honored for a host of volunteer activities she participates in. Her work centers around educational opportunities for children who are disabled. She is a volunteer in a special-education classroom at Cabin John Middle School, works as a teachers aide in her temple, serves as a mentor and is a peer tutor with Langley’s autism class.