ENCINITAS — Paul Pierce of Encinitas, a member of the Rotary Club of Encinitas, was selected as the District Rotarian of the Year for his extensive work with the youth of the district. District 5340 comprises more than 3,800 Rotarians and more than 50 clubs.
Pierce’s extensive work with the youth was evident by his developing a new Rotary leadership program for eighth-grade students who demonstrate leadership and service in their communities and school. He formed a program development committee with three other Rotarians, John Harmata of the Shadowridge/Vista Rotary Club, Jaclyn Cooper of the La Jolla New Generations Rotary Club, and David Olson of the Del Mar Rotary Club. The committee planned, organized, and held the first annual Rotary District 5340 Leadership, Ethics, And Determination, or LEAD, Conference in September 2009. The LEAD Conference was a two-day camp designed to encourage students to discuss issues of ethical responsibility, improve leadership and communication skills, and develop a positive outlook on life — all while having fun and making friends.
In addition to chairing the LEAD committee, Pierce served as the District 5340 New Generations (Youth) chairman and helped administer all of the youth programs of the District, which includes:
— Interact: a school-based club that provides opportunities for high school students to work together in a world fellowship dedicated to service and international understanding
— Rotaract: a club that provides opportunities for young people, ages 18 to 30, in local universities, colleges and the community at large to become leaders and service-minded citizens
— RYLA: a camp that rewards high school juniors who have exhibited leadership and service with an opportunity to further develop qualities of leadership and good citizenship
— Youth Exchange: a program that encourages and fosters an international cultural experience for students age 15 to 18
— Model UN: offers high school students an opportunity to experience how real world issues are addressed at the international level
— Four-Way Test Speech Contest: Encourages high school students to prepare and give speeches that apply Rotary’s Four-Way Test of ethical behavior to everyday activities and issues
— Scouting: promotes relations between Scouting and Rotary District 5340
— Service Above Self Video Contest: promotes the ideology of Service Above Self throughout our schools and community via a video contest
— Youth Protection: insures that Rotarians and others working in Rotary youth programs are protective of the young people they work with