Today's program was our much anticipated Jr. Rotarian speeches. 
Morgan Smith from Cloquet high school began by telling us about her experiences on her Chicago mission trip last summer. She worked at New York Live Center, where kids from dysfunctional families were cared for. She worked with 3rd through 5th graders and had no idea so many kids were underprivileged. They made necklaces from glass broken in gang fights and T-shirts with student's names on them, both of which she wore today. It was a great experience to bring positive influences to these kids and to be influenced by the kids, too.
 
Cameron Schultz from Esko high school spoke next about Alzheimer's disease. His grandma had dementia and he would visit the nursing home to see her. Alzheimer's was first noticed in 1906 by a person named Alzheimer and there is still no cure yet. Five million people suffer from memory loss and disorientation and it's the 6th largest cause of death in the US. When Pres. Regan announced his diagnosis, it led to more research and possibly to a cure. Cameron hopes to get an MD degree and do research to help end Alzheimer's. He also hopes Rotary will take up the cause, as we have done with Polio, for this worthwhile effort.
 
Isaac Stone from Cloquet high school focused on the topic of sleep deprivation's effect on youth. It leads to other problems like childhood obesity, car crashes, and depression. Statistics show that many teens sleep less than 7 hours a night. This leads to a high risk for low immune function and obesity. Not much is currently done to heed these warnings at a critical phase in a youth's life. We are the ones who must create change for this serious condition.
 
Carter Northey from Esko high school talked about underprivileged kids. He said that words and ideas can change the world. He got inspiration from a book called The Promise of a Pencil, an inspiring story of a person raised in privilege who traveled to India, seeing poverty for the first time. A beggar asked for a pencil and it started the idea for this man to create an organization called Pencils of Promise as a charity. He has now built 429 schools throughout the world by embracing lightning moments, knowing vulnerability is vital, and needing a passion to fulfill. Will we do the same? 
 
Excerpts taken from the Cloquet Rotary log, edited by Rachael Martin 
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