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Local students join World Affairs Seminar

LOHS, Lakeridge teens learn about global water resources during Rotary-funded trip


REVIEW PHOTO: JILLIAN DALEY - Local students participated in the World Affairs Seminar this year with the support of local Rotarians. From left, back row: Lakeridge High School senior Jeshua Corgan, Lakeridge senior Joel Saarinen and Rotarian Ted Ricks; and front row, Lake Oswego High School senior Savannah Grosse and Lakeridge sophomore Karthik Sreedhar.The four teen winners of the Lake Oswego Rotary Scholarship recently shared their adventures during the 2016 World Affairs Seminar with the adults who helped make it possible.

At a Lake Oswego Rotary Club lunch meeting Sept. 12, four young presenters discussed just what WAS is and what they learned by participating: Lakeridge High School senior Jeshua Corgan, Lake Oswego High School senior Savannah Grosse, Lakeridge senior Joel Saarinen and Lakeridge sophomore Karthik Sreedhar. Rotarians funded the students’ $5,000 WAS trip from June 25-July 1 to Carroll University in Wausheka, Wis., near Milwaukee.

“We made friendships that will last a lifetime,” Sreedhar said.

During WAS, more than 300 teenagers, mostly from the United States, but also from Asia, Africa, Europe, and the Caribbean, gather to hear lectures from experts, to form small discussion groups, to attend educational sessions and take field trips, said Rotarian Ted Ricks, one of the organizers for local participation.

Grosse told The Review that the gathering “felt like a community.”

“And it was really great that it was formed within days,” she said.REVIEW PHOTO: JILLIAN DALEY - Lakeridge High School senior Jeshua Corgan said he learned, 'You don't pay for water. You pay for the cost to transport water.'

Each year, the Wisconsin Rotary club that has managed WAS over the past 34 years, selects a topical global issue to focus on, Rick said. This year, it was global water resources, and next year, the topic will be education and social justice. (WAS begins taking applications on Jan. 1.)

“We were able to learn about a global issue, not through reading a textbook, but from hearing first-person perspectives,” Saarinen said.

Corgan said he discovered, “You don’t pay for water. You pay for the cost to transport water.”

Students enjoyed field trips to sites including the Urban Ecology Center, a community-based organization advocating for environmental education; School of Freshwater Sciences at the University of Milwaukee; World Water Hub, which promotes access to water technology; and the Badger Meter, which manufactures flow measuring devices such as water meters.

“We met a professor, and he told us a little bit about what he did” at the University of Milwaukee, Sreedhar said of the experience.REVIEW PHOTO: JILLIAN DALEY - At a Sept. 12 meeting, Lakeridge sophomore Karthik Sreedhar tells the Lake Oswego Rotary Club about the field trip he took to the University of Milwaukee during the World Affairs Seminar.

Speakers included Rotary International President Elect John F. Germ and University of Milwaukee School of Engineering Academic Dean David Howell. That’s just a taste of the list of professionals who took the stage.

“We listened to a lot of keynote speakers,” Grosse said.

Not all of it was serious.

“There was a little bit of controversy about the food in the cafeteria,” Corgan said.

The WAS trip, cafeteria controversy and all, is the second such adventure in a row for local students that Lake Oswego Rotary Club members have funded. The only requirements that the club makes of its WAS “delegates” is that they present what they learned to the club and help recruit and interview next year’s candidates, Ricks said. Interested in participating?

“Students are chosen based on their interest in global affairs, their academic standing and their recognized leadership skills,” Ricks said. “All students were whole-heartedly recommended by their assistant principals.”REVIEW PHOTO: JILLIAN DALEY - Members of the Lake Oswego Rotary Club enjoy a laugh during the Sept. 12 World Affairs Seminar student presentation.


By Jillian Daley
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For more information about World Affairs Seminar, visit www.worldaffairsseminar.org.

After Jan. 1, 2017, local students and parents can go online at that site and download an application, fill it out, and take it to their assistant principal, who will sign the application and deliver it to Ted Ricks, an organizer for the local, Rotary-funded trips.