Posted by William Reilly on Jun 04, 2024
On May 30, 2024, the Rotary Club of Lynn continued with its 30+ year tradition of recognizing 8th grade students from Lynn Middle Schools. These are students who have struggled with some adversity during the school year or have shown empathy toward others in an outstanding way. This recognition meeting, at the Old Tyme Italian restaurant was the third and last such meeting for the current academic year.

The students are nominated by their teacher, guidance counselor or someone who knows the student very well. The students are invited to a Club luncheon meeting.  They are individually presented with a gift certificate to a local bookstore and a Certificate of Achievement. Lynn’s River Works Credit Union is the program’s financial sponsor. During the individual presentations a narrative is read by President Jean-Marie Minton or Irene Cowdell, a retired Lynn teacher, enumerating how the students overcame adversity.

The Eighth Grade Recognition Program is the brainchild of Rotarían and Lynn businessman Joe Coombs.  Joe always felt that the eighth grade was a turning point in his life. He acknowledges how lost he felt during those middle-school years.  Were it not for a compassionate teacher who took him aside and supported him, he doubts he would have been as successful as he was as an adult.  Coombs’ success was derived from the positive reinforcement and support he received in middle school, so he petitioned his fellow Rotarians to adopt the program. Since its inception well over 500 students have been recognized by the Lynn Rotary Club.
Pictured first row left to right are: Dilessy “DeeDee” Lugo, Marshall MS; Vivian Escobar Gomez, Breed MS; Camdyn Driscoll, St, Mary’s MS.  Standing: Irene Cowdell, Rotarian awards presenter; Nardo Espinosa Marte, Lynn Vocational Technical Institute; Isaias Hernandez, North Shore Christian School; Rory Hetherington, Pickering MS; and Jean-Marie Minton, Rotarian awards presenter.  Not present for the picture were Greyson McKenzie, St. Pius V MS, and James Lopez, KIPP Academy.