Achievement Beyond Obstacles
Oct 19, 2020
Kim Mazeres
Achievement Beyond Obstacles

Among the many Youth Services our club supports is the Achievement Beyond Obstacles (ABO) Scholarship Program.  ABO aims to provide support for and award scholarships to deserving high school seniors who have triumphed over hardships, demonstrated personal leadership and courage, and yet show academic improvement.  Reno South Rotary started the program in 1996.  Over the last few years, they joined forces with Reno Rotary, Sparks Rotary, and Reno Central Rotary, forming a 501(c)3 to administer the program. 

In our club, Laurie Leonard, Kevin Melcher, Charlie Dodson, Kim Meyer and Kim Mazeres have been student liaisons.  Kim Meyer and Laurie are currently on the board of the organization.  Every year through our Youth Services Committee, our club provides $5,000 to ABO, and many, many members of our club have provided additional financial support. 

As a club, we have typically had six to eight of the ABO students present to us in April as part of the process of deciding who to interview for the scholarships.  This year, since we were unable to do that, we thought you would still enjoy hearing from a few students.  Last month the Reno South Rotary interviewed four ABO students as their Zoom meeting program.  This week’s program includes several of those interviews.

One of the important components of ABO includes a mandatory Leadership Weekend where the 35-40 students nominated by their high school counselors come together to learn from trainers Dean and Rochelle Whellams.  You will hear students refer to this training in their interview.  Due to the pandemic, we are currently working with the Whellams’ and the school counselors to determine how to proceed with this year’s program.

But even with the pandemic, thanks to the generous contributions of Rotarians, in May of this year ABO awarded a total of $46,000 – $21,500 to 16 first-year students and $24,500 to 13 continuing students.  To learn more about ABO, visit our website at .