Earlier this year we were delighted to learn that Ryan Honschooten, our Youth Support Officer, was a recipient of the Paul Harris Fellow Award. This award presented by the Rotary Foundation recognizes a member of the community who has demonstrated outstanding commitment to the Club or the community. Ryan was so proud to receive this award in recognition of his community work, and his ongoing dedication to the advocacy, support and encouragement of people living with vision impairment.
“I am so proud and very honoured to have received this award. In my name, the Kenwick Rotary Club has donated the equivalent sum of $1000 USD to the Rotary Foundation. I have to be honest, I was really not expecting to win and I had no idea I’d been nominated on the night! I was surprised, speechless and totally honoured. To win this award, it means a lot.”
Ryan is an invaluable member of the VisAbility team, and his is passionate about helping young people and children with vision impairment strive for a fulfilling, independent life. This passion for independence was instilled in Ryan by his parents. Being born blind, they encouraged him to do things for himself, and to get out and explore the world. Now Ryan spends much of his time, teaching others to do the same.
“This award gives me a sense of recognition for what I love doing. I enjoy recognising greatness in an individual and assisting that person to discover their own greatness. I love watching them grow and develop, and supporting them to reach their potential. Even if this means providing support emotionally when necessary.”
Ryan encourages others to get involved in their Rotary communities.
“If everyone gave back to the community, in the form of a Rotary or otherwise, I believe the world would be a much better place. We should always encourage each other to succeed and prosper!”
“I am so thankful to the Club for this award, thanks again for the recognition. I just want people to remember that life is short, and it’s important to fit in as much as you can, while you can. I strongly believe in giving to others, whether that be through empathy, in kindness or encouragement. Remember, you can do it!”
Congratulations Ryan! VisAbility are so proud of the incredible work you do. If you’d like to know more about Rotary Clubs or find one near you, visit this website: Rotary Australia (link opens in new window).