It was a day for young achievers at Lawrence Central Rotary as two high school students reported on club-sponsored summer activities.

Hamidat Asuku received a financial award from the club to help her participate in the Sister Cities student exchange trip to Hiratsuka, Japan. Hamidat shared images of her trip and her impressions of Hiratsuka, which she described as safe, clean and pleasant, with a small town atmosphere.

The most memorable part of the trip was her host family who were very kind and made her feel welcomed. Hamidat is studying Japanese, but she was grateful that the host family spoke English. She was impressed with the interesting and tasty variety of food she was served. The “host dog” was great fun, and it went along on various excursions. Hamidat enjoyed trips to museums, places and to the beach. She would very much like to return to Japan. Hamidat’s mother, Billy Asuku, was present at the meeting.

Shreya Bhaka, daughter of club member Sam Bhaka and his wife Rohini, was selected by the club to attend Rotary Youth Leadership Academy (RYLA). Some sixty students assembled in Lawrence this summer for a week of presentations on leadership and various civic and social issues.

Shreya enjoyed working with the mix of students drawn from schools in the area. The students formed small work groups and took on such topics as “the state brain-drain” and activities such as preparing care packages for tornado victims. They also learned about Rotary service options for young people as well as other avenues for service. Shreya spoke of numerous new friendships and intends to maintain contact with others in the group to create a forum of RYLA attendees for sharing school issues and ideas in the coming year.