During our club zoom meeting Monday, 5/18/2020, we were honored to hear Paloma Rossano, our Florida Atlantic University High School 2019-20 Rotary Scholar for April, tell us about her FAU HS experience.  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. 
 
Paloma was joined by her parents Andriana and Sandro who were beaming with pride while she spoke to us about herself and the advantages offered by FAU HS dual enrollment.  The dual enrollment offers students to participate in university programs and earn degree credits.  Paloma is working towards earning a degree in Business Marketing with minors in English and Economics, which she expects by Spring 2021.  Concurrently these studies fulfill the HS graduation she expects to accomplish this Spring 2020.
 
As Paloma continued to tell us about her life journey, she explained that her family background, with parents immigrating to the US from Brazil and contributing Portuguese and Italian heritage, had given her a multilingual upbringing and ability to speak Brazilian Portuguese quite fluently.  She has expanded that with developing Spanish fluency to complement her excellent command of English.  She also told how wonderfully beneficial it has been to have parents that value world travel and cultural experiences allowing to have experienced dozens of other countries already.  This had prepared her for a terrific experience of being able to volunteer in Lisbon, Portugal for two weeks at a summer children's camp helping counselors by entertaining and playing the kids.
 
Telling us about some of her work experiences, such as tutoring and babysitting, Paloma revealed her experience modeling since she was about eight years old.  She pointed out how that has taught her about work ethics and interpersonal relationships.  The modeling experience also created her interest in pursuing marketing in her studies.  She said that she was "inspired and intrigued by the creativity and professional process."  The intrigue led her to exploration into fashion, photography, and videography which resulted in a partnership develoing and displaying videos on their website.
 
Paloma's well balanced HS education experience has included helping to develop the women's track and field team as well as participating in the swimming team, which earned her the coach's award in each sport.  She also had the opportunity to compete in swimming at the regional level and in the state track and field competitions.  She also told us about her activity in the Interact Club, Student Athlete Leadership Team, National Honor Society, and becoming one of two mentor trainers in the peer mentoring program.
 
Two of the highlights experience as part of her University studies were a research project "Varying Incomes, Varying Overpopulation Perceptions" and becoming Fashion Director Assistant and Marketing Assistant for Strike magazine.  The research project earned the team 2nd place recognition for business research at FAU’s Office of Undergraduate Research and Inquiry.  The team was also prepared to present their project results at  the National Conference of Undergraduate Research, which would have been hosted in Montana before its cancellation due to the pandemic.  Paloma told us that "Strike magazine is a university magazine that will launch following the pandemic.  Despite existing at other Florida universities, this magazine is the first initiative to connect FAU students to today’s culture."
 
Following a brief Q&A, we thanked her for sharing her story and told her that we had to cancel our annual gala but would be distributing award checks to each of the eight FAU HS Rotary Scholars through the FAU HS staff in the very near future.  Paloma returned the expression of gratitude both  for Rotary recognitiona and for FAU HS program and staff.
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