The Rotary Club of Excelsior held its first live (and virtual) meeting on Tuesday, April 6, 2021 at the Minnetonka Community Education Center.  Steve Frazier served as Greeter and Opening Marshal.  Our Guest Speaker for the event was Padee Yang our Club Sponsored Global Scholar.  Preceding the club meeting the Board of Directors met and took the following actions:
  1. The Second Club Meeting on April 20th will be virtual on Zoom but then we will resume live meetings starting in May with catered lunch.  We will keep members posted on details.
  2. A $2,000 scholarship was awarded to Padee Yang for Tuition, books and expenses.
  3. Our Excelsior Club along with the AM Club, Minnetonka, and Hopkins Clubs each donated $3,000 towards the purchase for a van for the ICA Foodshelf.
  4. There will be a Rotary Golf event and limited fundraiser on June 9th at Deer Run.  Details are being discussed and worked out and members will be updated with details.
  5. Dick Glover and Jim Cada will meet with MHS to review Student Scholarships for our May 18th Club Meeting.
  6. Lou Graber reported that our financial condition is excellent and quarterly invoices have been sent.
Our Speaker on Tuesday, April 6th was Padee Yang who is a Global Scholar applicant for District 5950 and sponsored by our club and the St. Marylebone Rotary Club of London.  Attending the meeting live were 18 members and seven virtually.  Also attending the meeting virtually as guests were several St. Marylebone Rotary members John Bash and his wife and Adrian Ferise and Don Stiles from District 5950.   Steve Frazier introduced her and Padee presented her presentation virtually as she had an adverse reaction to her Covid shot but in spite of that she did a great presentation.
Padee started by giving her background.  She is the middle child of a family of five girls and 3 boys and her parents.  She attended Excelsior Elementary, West Middle School and graduated from MHS and received her Bachelors of Science Degree in Psychology with Minors in Anthropology and Neuroscience from the U of M in 2018.   She loves traveling, reading. drawing and hiking.
Ms. Yang outlined her Leadership and Extracurricular Activities and noted her awards from Johnson Brothers Memorial Scholarship in Entrepreneurship, University of Minnesota, 2017; Acara Student Fellowship Award, 2017;  Academic All Star Achievement Award, Office of Equity and Diversity, 2017.  Some of her activities include People to People International - Minnetonka Chapter (2012 - 2014); Backpack Tutoring (2012 - 2014); Acara Student Leadership Team (2018); Research Assistant for Social Interaction Lab (2017 - 2018); President of the Underserved Mental Health Association (2017 - 2018); two Campus Climate Micro-Grants and served with Doctors without Borders (2018).
Padee has been very active in her young life by serving on the staff of the Women’s International Peace Center in Kampala, Uganda from May 23, 2017 to July 5, 2017.  Then after graduating from the U of M she served in the Peace Corps acting as a Community Health Specialist from June 2019 to March of 2020 in Mzimba, Malawi doing community health assessments, meeting with influential chiefs, promoting gender equity and AIDS/HIV education and host of other activities.  She then was on to Levos, Greece as a Field Coordinator for the Starfish Foundation from July 2020 to September 27, 2020 to help serve the needs for food, clothing and hygiene of refugees arriving from the Moria Refugee Camp.  She is a tireless campaigner and has worked on the International Day to Eliminate Sexual Violence and Conflict, and World Refugee Day.
Her short and long term goals include attending the School of Oriental and African Studies at the University of London to receive her Master’s Degree in Violence, Conflict and Development.  Her long term goals include seeking Leadership Position focused on research to improve access to healthcare and mental health services, gender based violence through advocacy and evaluation of development interventions.
We are so pleased to sponsor Padee on her journey to reduce conflict and promote peace and equity to underserved population in the world.  This humble, kind but tenacious soul is going to make a difference in this world!