At our June 19th meeting, we had two speakers. First speaker was Maykala Sullivan, who is fellow Rotarian Don Garling’s granddaughter. Maykala attends Santiago High School and she wrote an award-winning 4 Way speech which she read to our club. Her speech was about bringing awareness to mental health issues in teens. Mental health is at an all-time high in the U.S. Anxiety, depression and stress are the three growing issues in our society. Maykala is advocating for a course in mindfulness to be taught in schools. Mindfulness can and does improve the lives of people who suffer from mental issues. Congratulations Maykala, for your very informative and award winning speech. And thank you for shedding some much needed light on this topic.
Our second speaker was fellow Rotarian Brian Young. Brian is the Corona City Fire Chief. Brian shared with us about a new initiative that Corona Fire is working on. It has to do with the Corona Fire Department working with other local agencies concerning the wildlife interface. The city of Corona abuts with 12 miles of the Cleveland National Forest. The new non-profit formed is The Fire Safe Council. Local Home Owners Associations are invited to join the council. There are currently 87 HOAs that share a border with the CNF. Brian also talked about steps we can take as homeowners to protect against wildlife fire. He also discussed the new fire department app called Pulse Point. This app lets you know where and when an emergency is unfolding in our city. Any time the Fire department is called out, it shows up on Pulse Point. Thank you Brian, for all you do in keeping residents safe. And for sharing this important information with our club.
Our June 12th speakers were the STEM(science, technology, engineering and math) teachers of Corona High School. Dr. Antonio Gonzalez is the principal of Corona High. He introduced the following teachers, Patrick Chao, Eric Lee, and Kristian Johnson. Patrick is STEM coordinator and the computer/science teacher for the program. This is the first year that Corona High School has a computer program. It’s being funded by Amazon. They had an executive from Amazon come to the school to talk to the students about coding. Eric is teaching engineering. This is the oldest program being offered in the STEM academy. They bought the rights to teach PLTW- Project Lead The Way, which teaches engineering students to become tomorrow’s problem solvers. They revamp the curriculum every 3 years so it’s always up to date. Kristian teaches math, aerospace engineering and robotics. They also teach biomedical science, all sorts of fields. The curriculum changes every year. Healthcare careers is another pathway they teach. Like nursing and how to be a first responder. There are also automotive careers. The auto shop has been completely updated so it will be a new shop for when the students return to school. There is an aviation program. Corona High has more FAA approved flight simulators than most schools and some colleges. A lot of these students receive scholarships upon graduation so they can continue in the field they wish to study. PLTW tracks the students to see where they go to college and into what field of study. This was very interesting to learn about all the exciting subjects being taught at Corona High School. You could see the passion these teachers, along with their principal, have about their profession.
June 5th our Rotary Club had 2 employee honorees as our guests. They were recognized by fellow Rotarians, Linda Pearson with the Corona Regional Medical Center nominated Pilar Triguero and Jeff Fraser with Master Stream ERP nominated Heidi Juarez. These folks were nominated for their outstanding work at these companies. Bill Steinkirchner owner of Stone Church, also nominated 2 employees who could not join us for our meeting. Well done everyone!
The speaker for June 5th meeting was our Rotary Youth Exchange student, Ula Gilewska. Ula arrived from Poland to the U.S. last August during the Holy Fire here in Corona. Rotarian Karen Maldonado and her family are her host family. Laura Seltzer, (myself) is her Rotary mentor. Ula has five siblings back home, all girls except for one brother. Her parents are doctors and Ula applied for the student exchange program through the local Rotary club in her town.
She has had a very fun filled time here in California. She absolutely loves the beaches here. The Maldonados have taken her to Huntington Beach, Newport Beach and Dana Point. She has been to San Diego, Coronado area, and to Santa Barbara. She says in Poland there are no beaches, only the Black Sea. She is attending Santiago High School in Corona as a junior. She joined the track and field team. She attended the Homecoming Dance and the Prom as well. The Rotary Youth Exchange has various weekend outings for all the inbound students. Ula has been to Ventura, Big Bear, San Diego, a camp in the Hollywood Hills and to RYLA. She has made many friends from various countries through this program.
On June 16, Ula, along with several of her fellow exchange students, will be boarding a train that will take her cross country to the East Coast. They will make several stops along the way, and visit at least 7 states. They have a very packed agenda. She is looking forward to this trip. Ula has enjoyed her stay here with the Maldonados and is grateful for all the monetary support Circle City Rotary has given her throughout her visit here. She returns home to Poland in mid July, but has expressed a desire to return to California someday. We will miss her, she is a very sweet and delightful young lady.
Our speakers for May 29th was our fellow Rotarian John Saville and his wife Kathleen. John is a retired pastor and now spends part of his retirement traveling to various states during the summer months to be a temporary chaplain. Upon retiring, John read a book that he highly recommends to everyone, Being Mortal: Medicine and What Matters in the End by American surgeon, Dr. Atul Gawande. The book addresses end-of-life care, hospice care, and also contains Dr. Gawande’s reflections and personal stories. John and his wife went to Alaska in summer of 2018. They stayed at the John Thomas Center for Senior Leadership. This center is focused on promoting healthy senior living in everything they do. They view elders not as patients or care objects but as respected senior leaders and role models in the community. They provide space for privacy, and community spaces for social interactions and group activities. John was their summer chaplain, and he told us how active everyone in this special community truly is.
John says there are three great ways to live out your life. Connect, Create and Contribute and that is exactly what this place inspires in all who live there. Kathleen ran the coffee talk hour. The topic of conversations were about the residents themselves, what was their first job, what was their favorite Christmas. The center was built and is funded by the Lowell Thomas Foundation. Both John and Kathleen had a wonderful time in Alaska, lots of fishing and hiking was done when they were not interacting with the seniors at the center. Thank you John and Kathleen, for caring and sharing your story.