In April, Amber Harden, a Rotary Ambassadorial Scholar who spent three years in the Republic of Georgia, shared her story with the Rotary Club of Westlake Village. 
Amber recounted how she found a Rotary Club in Georgia to coordinate her visit and how she learned to live and thrive in a part of the world which had been off limits to the west for decades. While she was in Georgia, Amber received a Masters Degree in International Business. She also learned to speak Georgian and taught English both in the countryside and in the capital city of Tbilisi. 

Amber’s Ambassadorial Scholarship was sponsored by the Crenshaw Watts Rotary Club, which has partnered with our club in supporting the Simon Technology High School, a grade 9-12 Charter High School in Watts.Our clubs have made a commitment to work together on other projects and set an example of inter district cooperation for other clubs to follow.  

Pictured (left to right): Clarence Miller, principal of the Simon Technology High School; Amber Harden; Robert Ryans, incoming president of the Crenshaw Watts Rotary Club; Olivia Ryans, wife of Robert Ryans and a member of the Inglewood Rotary Club; Cresie Page, a past president of the Crenshaw Watts Rotary Club; and Jon Morse, a past president of the Rotary Club of Westlake Village.  
The Simon Technology High School is preparing deserving students in the area for college, even though many of the students come from families where they will be the first to graduate from high school. The Westlake club's book drive supplied the school with approximately 10,000 books so the students would have books available for silent reading to improve their reading comprehension. Many of the students come to the school in ninth grade with a second grade reading level, and the school is working hard to raise the reading level to prepare the students for college. The school donated a quantity of the children’s books to the Crenshaw Watts Rotary Club to be taken to Jamaica for literacy outreach in that country. Other children’s books have been donated to a local elementary school in Watts; a program is under development to have the high school students tutor the elementary school students. The school has also instituted an adult literacy program to allow the parents of the students and others in the community to improve their literacy skills. In short, the book drive has taken on a life of its own in that community.