Rotary Scholar urges alumni to stay connected

Kathleen Plaza's own This Close portrait

Kathleen Plaza’s own This Close portrait

By Kathleen Plaza, Rotary Scholar

I was born and raised in a rural barrio (neighborhood) in Mindanao, Philippines. I moved to Guam when I was about 18 years old. I became a member of the Rotaract Club of the Marianas in Guam when I was completing my undergrad degree in biology, and served as secretary in 2011-12 and as youth services director in 2012-13.

I moved to Hawaii in August 2015, and with a Rotary Scholarship funded by a global grant, began taking classes in public health, focused on disease prevention and treatment. I will finish my program in May 2017.

I have always been interested in ending polio and finding ways to help our club make a difference. Rotary’s This Close campaign is inspiring and resonates with my dream of developing and promoting programs that address health care needs and decrease the occurrence of communicable and vaccine-preventable diseases in medically underserved communities like the barrio where I grew up. As a humble immigrant from a developing country, I want, in my own way, to Be a Gift to the World.

The global grant scholarship is helping me achieve that goal. I have tremendous support coming from Rotary District 2750, and I also have a supportive host club, the Rotary Club of Honolulu. I’m very proud and honored that the club asked me to serve as a judge for the Hawaii Rotary Youth Foundation Committee, which grants $5,000 scholarships to graduating seniors at Hawaii high schools who wish to go to college. My role on the area selection committee will be to judge applicants from my area.

I would encourage other Rotary alumni to continue to find ways to stay involved with Rotary, even after you finish your program or studies. We all can make a difference.

About the author: Kathleen Plaza is a Rotaractor and a Rotary Scholar from the Philippines to Hawaii. She is currently pursuing an advanced degree at the University of Hawaii-Manoa.

5 thoughts on “Rotary Scholar urges alumni to stay connected

  1. Hi: I’m Dr. Prasad Punnoose from Angamaly Heritage Rotary in Dist 3201. I have been volunteering teaching and training in Uganda among the local poor and refugees of Congo conflict. I’m wondering if Rotary could take up a Global Project to help the down trodden here. Here are a few photos. 1. With president Mebra of Makindye Rotary KAMPALA, 2,3. with refugee children, 4. Teaching. Prasad Punnoose. 91 9388664526.


  2. Such an incredible inspiring story but also very true that alumni clubs are the best way to stay in touch and explore the opportunities in serving the needs of the community.
    For example, after each edition of Rotaract Global ModelUN international youth conference we try to grow our alumni community and engage together in different activities, in spacial promoting the next events. This allows us to continue to share experiences and new from different perspectives and different sides of the world.

    Once again, congratulations Kathleen Plaza !


  3. Pingback: Rotary Scholar urges alumni to stay connected | The Rotary Club of Carteret

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