This fall, the Brattleboro Rotary Club welcomed nine local high school students to this year's Student Rotarian Program: Gia Casella and Eric Ginter of Leland and Gray Union High School; Alec Silver and Marissa Smith of Brattleboro Union High School; Theresa Glabach of the Windham Regional Career Center; Timothy Gringeri and Mitul Rathid of Hinsdale High School; and Cooper Johnson and Anthony Moodie of the Austine School.

Offered to area high school juniors and seniors as part of Rotary's commitment to youth service, the Brattleboro Rotary Club's Student Rotarian Program is designed to give high school students the opportunity to experience Rotary firsthand, and to give Rotarians the opportunity to relate to high school students at a peer level.

"This is the sixteenth year that the Brattleboro Rotary Club has invited area students to join the club during the school year. In that time, over 200 teens have participated as Student Rotarians," says Samantha Bovat, Brattleboro Rotary Club member and coordinator of the Student Rotarian Program.

Each Student Rotarian attends 10 Rotary lunch meetings throughout the school year and participates in Rotary community service projects. "Student Rotarians are treated like any other Rotarian -- with respect, fellowship, and a sense of humor," says Bovat.

Student Rotarians have the opportunity to develop public speaking skills, since they are called upon at each meeting to give brief reports about what is happening at their respective schools (i.e., academics, concerts, sports, school activities, personal activities, or any other interesting information). They also benefit from the chance to get to know fellow club members who are community leaders and mentors, and from the exposure to topics of local interest presented by guest speakers at each meeting.

Participation is offered each year to students from Brattleboro Union High School, the Windham Regional Career Center, the Austine School, Hinsdale High School, and Leland and Gray Union High School. Students are selected by their schools using whatever means each school's administration deems appropriate. There are no academic or honors prerequisites.

Four of our Student Rotarians are pictured here, left to right: Eric Ginter of Leland and Gray Union High School, Cooper Johnson of the Austine School, Gia Casella of Leland and Gray Union High School, and Anthony Moodie of the Austine School.