Name: Elana Morris
Age: 6th Grader
School: Dr. Robert H. Brown Middle School
Accomplishments: Elana Morris says that she was happy to receive the Madison Rotary Club Student of the Year Award for the Dr. Robert H. Brown Middle School, but admits it was a bit awkward. “When I first learned about it, it was weird to think that I was singled out and I was the only person who had gotten it out of the students that were nominated. I was really surprised!” said Elana.
All students who receive the Student of the Year Award meet the Rotary's 4-Way Test. This test, which promotes high ethical standards, asks "Of the things we think, say or do: Is it the TRUTH? Is it FAIR to all concerned? Will it build GOODWILL and BETTER FRIENDSHIPS? Will it be BENEFICIAL to all concerned?"
Nominated by her teachers and chosen based on a personal essay, Elana was recognized at a special Rotary luncheon. Elana’s essay focused on her participation in the Future Problem Solving Program and her volunteer work at the Branford Soup Kitchen.
Brown Principal Julie Phelps said Elana is a role model for young adults, “Not only a dreamer, Elana is a doer. She is proof positive of what can happen when someone with leadership, intelligence, and compassion decides to make a difference. Her work ethic defines her outcomes – she does not delegate the hard work to others, she takes it on herself and in the process, like any natural leader, gets others to easily follow.”
Key to Awesomeness: Elana participated in the Future Problem Solving Program after school at Brown School. In this program she worked with other students on creative problem solving for futuristic scenarios. “The problems we were presented with were really realistic,” said Elana. “It (the program) has to do with real world problems,” she added.
Elana feels she is really making a difference by volunteering at the Branford Soup Kitchen. “I feel really useful. It’s not very hard for us to go but we’re helping a lot of people,” says Elana. “It’s something I want to do more of!”
Reflecting on her attendance at the Rotary Club luncheon and her acceptance speech Elana said, “It was a really good experience.”
“It was my first time speaking in front of experienced adults,” she said. “I learned some things by doing that, because I’d never done it before and I gained confidence!”