What it takes to be a Rotarian


Lauren Waypa

Olivia Vieths, student of the month, eats lunch with fellow Rotarians.

Lauren Bangs, Writer

Rotary members walk in on a Monday morning ready to help with whatever issues are presented. As they listen to community issues or just learn about growing businesses, they are able to help by just hearing what people have to say. This club is making a difference in Steele County.

Rotary all started with Paul Harris who was a Chicago attorney. He formed the first Rotary Club in 1905, so professionals could exchange ideas and form meaningful, lifelong friendships. The members of this club have a long track record of addressing challenges in their communities and around the world. These ideas have spread across the globe. Owatonna’s Rotary was founded just 16 years after the original. Since then the club has spread across six continents. These clubs around the world solve some of our nation’s most challenging problems.

Students are welcomed by the Rotarians to learn and enjoy their presence. The community uses these students to help spread their ideas throughout the community to gain help in what they are trying to promote. The Rotary Club gains many volunteers through just speaking to the group about what they would like to help with. Rotary shows kindness to all and makes the student guests feel very welcomed.

Rotary has taught me that there are a lot of opportunities to be involved in the community and lead the community through earning leadership positions.

— David Smith

As Rotary gives an opportunity for students to sit in and learn about what the community is doing, they have the experience to help grow our community. The newest round of students gets to go and visit with community members for the month of December. Senior David Smith said, “Rotary has taught me that there are a lot of opportunities to be involved in the community and lead the community through earning leadership positions.” After only one meeting he had noticed what great things Rotary does. As these students learn about our community, they become aware of the issues people deal with. They are taught to communicate with people while seeing different perspectives on the businesses in Owatonna. 

The students who went for the month of November have the whole experience at their backs. Senior Emma Myer said, “This experience for high school students is to show younger generations what the club truly entails. They also care about younger generations’ opinions, and connecting with high school students is an amazing way to do so.” The students who have the ability to do this are helping not only themselves by being aware, but also helping their community. Helping Rotary build a stronger community for the upcoming generations ahead is what they need.

The Rotary Club has shown great kindness to the students each month and allows them to learn what they really do. This spreads the amazing things Rotary does for the community, so they get some much deserved recognition.