During our weekly meeting Monday, 11/4/2019, we honored our Florida Atlantic University High School 2019-20 Rotary Scholar for November Ciara O'Neill.  The FAU HS Rotary Scholar of the Month is selected by the FAU HS staff in recognition of character, ethics, morality, community service, and academic achievement. Our sponsor for Ciara is Rotary Boca Raton Sunset Executive Secretary John Ross, Thank you John.
As expected, Ciara told us about her dual enrollment experience working toward a Bachelor of Science degree in Computer Sciences while completing requirements for graduation from FAU HS in spring of 2020 and expecting to complete the BSCS degree the following spring.  With a bit of humor, she first explained why she has a very Irish name but not so Irish appearance.  Ciara grew up with two loving parents, Gerry and Mary O'Neill and an older sister, Marina. She told us that like her sister, also bearing Asian appearance, looking different than mom and dad (or that name didn't match appearance) did not seem important; rather she was focused on enjoying life and working hard to succeed. 
She went on to say "Speaking of success, I also have to attribute some of my own to that fact that I am surrounded by talented friends and classmates at FAU High School."  She thanks FAU HS for her decision to pursue computer science.  She mentioned that her older sister is especially talented with art and music and she also wanted to be able to be creative, but didn't have the same talents.  Instead she found joy in math and science, and in 10th grade at FAU HS she learned from a friend about cool things you could make by knowing how to program; that combined with experiencing a presentation related to artificial intelligence and neural networks sparked her interest in computer science as an opportunity for her to apply her talents in math and science.
Along the way she realized an additional opportunity to partner with her sister by using her own newly acquired knowledge using computer tools to develop a business to combine both their talents.  This turned out to be a much greater learning experience as they both discovered the myriad of details in the logistics of delivering product to consumers.  Together they are progressing in the promotion of Marina's talented services and art as well as producing product for delivery via the small artisan business web site: MarinaXStudios.
Ciara also told us about the rewarding experience of serving others by tutoring math for fellow students and helping physically disabled students succeed  academically.  She continued telling us how much she enjoyed the interesting study of Mandarin that helped her better understand the Chinese culture through the overseas immersion experience with the US Department of State National Security Language Initiative for Youth  program.
FAU HS Rotary Scholar chair Sam Khazem concluded the honors by gathering sponsor John, parents Gerry and Mary, FAU HS Director of Guidance David Kelly, and our Honorary Member FAU HS Interact Advisor Robin Barkes to present the framed certificate to FAU HS Rotary Scholar for November 2019 Ciara O'Neill.