Interviews
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Kelly Altosino-Sastre (KAS), Rotary District 6970 Rotaract Chair interviewed Manny Mara (MM) Rotaract President of the District’s newest Rotaract Club. Here is the interview

(KAS): “Manny you from North Florida?”

(MM):  “I was born and raised in Saint Augustine, FL. I graduated from Saint Augustine High School. At Saint Augustine High I participated in our schools Interact club my senior year. The summer before senior year started, I was fortunate to be selected to go to RYLA (Rotary Youth Leadership Awards hosted at UNF. This trip really impacted my life in a positive way and showed how important it is to try to make a difference in the world.”

KAS: “Tell me about what you did after you graduated from St. Augustine High School.”

MM: “When I graduated, I visited family in Toronto, Ontario and really got to reflect on what I felt was most important in my life. I came up with three things first was my family, then came furthering my education, and lastly I couldn't get community service out of my mind and heart. I realized that I wanted to still be a part of Rotary even in a small way if I could because I know how community driven the Rotary Club is.”

KAS: “What happened next?”

MM: When I came home I contacted Mr. Stege who is a Rotarian at the Rotary Club of St. Augustine and asked if we could meet and talk more. We talked but were drawing blanks to figure out how I could help out. Then I asked if there a Rotaract Club at Saint Johns River State College at the Saint Augustine Campus? I realized there was not. After hours on hours of hard work phone calls, selling students on club, printing document after document, email after email I am truly fortunate to say we are one of the 11 official clubs at our campus and have already done two community service projects.

KAS: That is awesome!

MM: Our club consists of 30 people.  Our Faculty Advisor is Mr. Coggins who was formerly the Vice President of Student Affairs at Purdue. And of course our Rotarian sponsor is the great Jim Stege.

KAS: What a great story and path that led to your Presidency. I am so happy that have taken on this leadership role! Congrats to you, your club, your college, and the community!

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