This week's program included Junior Rotarian Speeches – they were all insightful, some joyful, some tearful, some haunting, and all well delivered.

Ava Gonsorowski spoke on her sacred association and love for Covenant Park Bible Camp near Mahtowa; building friendships and a closer relationship with God. She related her favorite activities and touched on her special joy inhelping to raise money to help heat an Alaskan sister bible camp and then earlier efforts that provided 28 mattresses for a Haitian foster home.

Mykayla Laurie spoke on her love of being in the water and passion for swimming. She joined the team in 7th grade. It was a long road of improvement; she worked hard and made it to state, more importantly made strong bonds with her team. “It is so much more than a sport to her”; the
lifelong friendships attained will be something that exists for a lifetime.
Nate Sunde spoke on struggles in his life and reflected upon “a significant risk you have taken on and ethical dilemma you have faced, what actions did you take and how did it change you”. The dilemma was with a close friend that had started smoking and then surreptitiously smoking marijuana and getting stoned. He cared greatly for this person and genuinely feared for her safety because of these actions. Should he ignore it and let it go or would that action allow her to fall into deeper issues and potentially be harmed. He determined he couldn’t live with himself if that happened and he informed her parents. She has since not spoken with Nate, but he feels he did the only thing a friend could and should do.
Neena Magnusson poetically spoke on a tree as a metaphor for life. Tree buds can become such different things. Some flowers, some fruit, each with its unique value. She analogized that high school is like a tree with the students as buds and leaves. The pressures of deciding a student’s future can become all-consuming and that clarity does come with time. Each senior is a different leaf on that same tree with the winds of graduation blowing them onto their separate ways.

Paige McCoy spoke on a shifting self-awareness and shared her personal struggles with family dynamics, school life, perfectionism and a penultimate eating disorder. This disorder seriously threatened her health through malnourishment and severe anemia, even requiring a transfusion. Upon introspection and the experiences she gained at the Anna Westin House in St. Paul, was able to turn her life around and to become the person we see today.