Congratulations to the 2019 Rotary Scholarship Recipients 

Jamal Pracha, Keerat Sandhu, Amisha Saini, Madeline Mills, Tonya Kaissieh, and Nick Reibly

 Read on to learn all about these amazing students and their goals for success!

The Centerville Rotary Club’s Educational Foundation provides scholarships to graduating seniors from the Centerville/Washington Township community.  Criteria for these awards is based on financial need, participation in service oriented projects and potential for success in college or trade school. Since 1975, we have awarded over $232,000.00 in scholarship money. 

Money for this project is raised from our annual Pancake Breakfast which is held the fourth Saturday in October at Centerville High School.  Mark your calendars now for October 26 and plan to support an event that supports our community. I want to thank club members for their support of our scholarship program through our annual Pancake Breakfast.

This year, 15 seniors applied to our Foundation and we awarded six $2,000 scholarships totaling $12,000. Rotary’s motto ‘service above self’ has been exemplified by the 6 students Centerville Rotary is honoring here today. 

Tonya Kaissieh

Tonya is active in many activities including those at her church. She is accomplished Greek dancer. One of her favorite activities is the Circle of Friends in which she has lunch with special needs students and this past year participated in a special prom with them. A few of her volunteer activities outside of the school opportunities include St. Leonard’s, House of Bread, and St. Vincent de Paul. She participated in Science Olympiad and was a club officer for the Diversity Club. Her two older sisters are in college. She plans to attend The Ohio State University and major in psychology and Spanish with the hope of becoming a physician assistant. When asked why she choose Ohio State, Tonya shared one of the deciding factors was the proximity of the church she could attend. One of her references had this to say: Tonja is one of those rare people who can truly accept anyone and everyone in to her friend group- she does not know a stranger and she has the ability to everyone as a person before she sees their character. I believe she is able to do this because she is a wonderful listener- she listens with her heart and take that time to show people she genuinely care about them.

Becoming  By Michelle Obama

Mrs. Obama’s memoir, tells the story of the experiences that have shaped her—from her childhood on the South Side of Chicago to her years as an executive balancing the demands of motherhood and work, to her time spent at the White House. With honesty and wit, she describes her successes and her setbacks, both public and private, telling her story in her own words and on her own terms. This story is written to inspire us to set our goals high and deify expectations.


Madeline Mills

Madeline plan to pursue a degree in chemical engineering at Purdue University. She has worked at Archer’s, Panera and Mathnasium while in school and saved over $2,300 for college. She was a leader on the Tennis team at Centerville; receiving the Black and Gold Award and being recognized as an ALL GWOC player. She also participated in Model UN, Speech and Debate, and was the Vice-president of the Key Club, officer in the French Club, National Honor Society, and a leader in her youth group at Incarnation where she has done many service projects and received the Youth Ministry Award. One of her references noted: For Madeline, it is not about how much serve she can put on a resume, rather, it is the way she lives her life. She is one of the most genuine, loving ,humble, grateful, honest, caring, selfless young ladies I have had the pleasure of working with over the last fifteen years. I hope my children learn how to truly love others the way that Madeline loves others.

Fermat’s Enigma by Simon Singh

Simon Singh tells the story of Andrew Wiles of Princeton University and his attempt to find a solution to Fermat's last theorem. Pierre de Fermat was a French lawyer and mathematician who is given credit for early developments that led to infinitesimal calculus. When in 1993 after seven years of trying to solve the equation, a flaw was discovered in the proof, Wiles had to work for another year to establish that he had solved the 350-year-old problem. Mr. Singh tells the astonishingly entertaining story of the pursuit to answer the mystery, and the lives that were devoted to, sacrificed for, and saved by it.  


Jamal Pracha

Jamal is the second oldest of 5 boys and his older brother is in college. Jamal plans to attend the University of Cincinnati and study neuroscience. He has served as a hospital volunteer at two local hospitals and works at Mathnasium. He has been in Interact several years and served as the club artist for 2 years designing the club t-shirt logo as images on items they used as fundraiser. He designed the hand holding the earth with the slogan- momstrong which raised 3,000 for Artemis. He also served as secretary this past year. Liz Cameron, the Interact Advisor noted that Jamal frequently brought snacks for the 100- member club and he works diligently, longer and harder than other students to raise money to support others in need, truly demonstrating that Service Above Self theme. He was Vice-President of the National Honor Society, and participant in Model UN and Science Olympiad.

The Mind’s Eye by Oliver Sacks

Neurologist and writer Oliver Sacks has spent his career examining patients struggling to survive with a wide range of neurological conditions: Tourette's syndrome, autism, Parkinson's, musical hallucinations, Alzheimer's disease and phantom-limb syndrome.

In this book, The Mind's Eye, Sacks shares his experience of being diagnosed with a rare eye tumor and the subsequent total loss of vision on his right side. Included in this text are the case studies of other people who learned to compensate and adapt after neurological disorders robbed them of their ability to recognize faces, read or see.


Nick Reibly

Nick was a captain of the Centerville Football team this past year and has played football for many years. He plays center and educated us about the position of long snapper. Nick shared that while this past year was one of the worst in school history for the team, it taught them all about not giving up and as a captain he learned how to keep the team motivated and focused on goals. Nick was awarded the Sonny Unger scholarship and our Committee was impressed that he has applied for over 15 scholarships- this guy really wants to finance his education. Nick has been working at Home Depot and helps with kids sporting camps. He participates in Target Ministries and was selected to be in the Leadership Academy. 

One of his references noted: Nick is a very diligent worker and possesses a lot of the same qualities that he takes to the playing field. He is respectful and acts with great integrity and morality. He peers look up to him and he always finds ways to add to classroom discussion. He’s  very fore-thinking  and has a creative way of looking at different problems. In groups, Nick flourishes because he keeps everyone on task, adds to discussion and pushes those around him to think deeper and achieve higher.

Nick hopes to teach social studies at a high school. He plans to attend the University of Findley, which his brother also attends. Nick’s brother is applying for physical therapy school.  

Make Your Bed By Admiral William H. McRaven

Make Your Bed is based on Admiral William H. McRaven’s commencement speech for the graduating class from the University of Texas at Austin. In it, McRaven shares the ten lessons he learned from Navy SEAL training. They are simple lessons that deal with overcoming the trials of SEAL training, but the ten lessons are equally important in dealing with the challenges of life—no matter who you are. 

Make Your Bed Summary: 1. Start your day with a task completed; 2. You can’t go it alone; 3. Only the size of your heart matters; 4. Life’s not fair—drive on; 5. Failure can make you stronger; 6. You must dare greatly; 7. Stand up to the bullies; 8. Rise to the occasion; 9. Give people hope; 10. Never, ever quit!


Amisha Saini

Amisha plans to attend the University of Cincinnati and study neuroscience with a goal of becoming a neuro-surgeon. She has great leadership qualities as demonstrated by her roles as President and Vice-President of Key Club and serving as liaison with the Interact Club. She served as an officer for the National Honor Society, French Club, President of Speech and Debate and participated in Model UN, and Destination Imagination. In addition to her rigorous class schedule and many activities she found time to work at Kuman and she plays the piano. Her references highlighted her leadership qualities, positive attitude, work ethic and her special interest in children in her service work.

The Spirit Catches You and You Fall Down: a Hmong child, her American doctors and the collision of two cultures By Anne Fadiman

This title is the poignant story of a young Hmong girl suffering from epilepsy who is caught in the cultural chasm between her family and her rationalist American doctors. The story shows the tragic consequences of a lack of cross-cultural communication and reveals the weaknesses of western medicine in caring for patients with beliefs that are different from that of their doctors. 


Keerat Sandhu

Keerat is committed to her family and older brother and she choose a school close to home so she could continue to be of support, she plans to attend The Ohio State University and study psychology as a pre-med major. While she ran for the office of President of the Interact club she ended up serving in another role but as Liz Cameron noted in her recommendation- Keerat would step in and cover for various tasks that the president could not do- she was an amazing support to the club. Keerat, you might all recognize worked at the pancake breakfast! She has served as a volunteer at Southview Hospital, and the many Interact Club activities. She competed in dance and participated in Speech and Debate, Octagon Club, Circle of Friends, and the Chemistry Olympiad program. She has worked at Hollister and Archers

Mountains Beyond Mountains: The Quest of Dr. Paul Farmer, A Man Who Would Cure the World  by Tracy Kidder

This is a title we have shared with other scholarship students and one of our favorites. A non-fiction, biographical work by American writer Tracy Kidder, the book traces the life of physician and anthropologist Paul Farmer with particular focus on his work fighting tuberculosis in Haiti, Peru and Russia.