The Rotary Club of Stabroek last Wednesday celebrated the Rotary International’s Vocational Service month of October by presenting three awards for excellence in Vocational Service to Robin Phillips,Anton Stralman Lightning Jersey, Cynthia Massay and Yesenia Aguirre, who the entity says “have all dedicated a tremendous amount of their personal time and effort towards helping others”.The awardees were selected “based on their strong commitment to provision of vocational service as they tirelessly contribute their vocational talents to meeting the needs of the communities that they serve”.The Club in a statement described Cynthia Massay as “a Guyanese icon with exceptional personal dedication to her profession as a Disabilities Specialist, who has for years supported Rotary International’s compelling drive to eradicate the dreaded disease Polio which currently only exists in three countries in the world. She started her career at the Georgetown Hospital just a year after graduating from high school. This sparked her interest in working with disabled persons and she later collaborated with two colleagues to establish the Guyana Wheelchair Association which later became the Guyana Coalition of Citizens with Disabilities.After being qualified as a physiotherapist, she attained many other distinctive academic and professional milestones,Mike Gartner Capitals Jersey, locally and abroad, which included a Post-Graduate Diploma in Health Management,Alexei Kovalev Canadiens Jersey, appointment as Rehabilitation Officer, Ptolemy Reid Rehabilitation Centre (PRRC) and later Director of Rehabilitation Services at the Ministry of Health. But her passion for direct care for the disabled placed her right back at the PRRC where she had the opportunity to effect the highest standards of quality rehabilitation services to adults and especially children for them to benefit from the best therapy,Victor Hedman Lightning Jersey, education and life skills to maximise their potential to have a meaningful life. She was instrumental in the establishment of the Disabilities Act and she now focuses on the rights of Persons with Disabilities (PWDs) to ensure that there is equal opportunity for those persons to participate in all areas of society as defined in the National Policies”.Robin Phillips,Doug Harvey Canadiens Jersey, it was noted “founded the Buxton Youth Developers in 2007, and passionately dedicated his life to promoting positive change among the youth in his community. He established the program to provide a safe place for the children of Buxton and its nearby villages to learn and develop good social skills and a positive self-image. He did this through providing free classes daily for school dropouts for reading, writing, mathematics and social studies. Having been trained in physical education, football, table tennis and track and field coach, Robin also single handedly coupled his lessons with several sports activities daily in addition to being a part-time lecturer in Physical Education at the Guyana School of Agriculture. To date, 1371 children have passed through his program,Dan Boyle Rangers Jersey, which has since evolved with significant assistance from the Rotary Club of Stabroek, the Canadian High Commission, the Bank of Nova Scotia,Alexander Semin Canadiens Jersey, UNICEF and Digicel to establish a new building and to refurbish the playground. The group recently registered as an NGO, with a newly established Board of Directors.According to the statement, Yesenia Aguirre who is an American US Peace Corps Volunteer in Guyana since February 2011 “started teaching Phonics and English literacy at the Nismes Primary school for about 120 children and Spanish as a second language to all children in Grades 1-6. She subsequently started teaching Spanish to the entire Bagotville Primary of about 35 children once a week. She then went on teach phonics and literacy for remedial children dedicating extra hours of her time on weekends as a member of the Bagotville Literacy Group, a program further developed over the years with assistance from the Rotary Club of Stabroek through provision of books,Phil Kessel Penguins Jersey, teaching aids, stationery and other literacy resources to help youths struggling with learning differences to have alternative learning mechanisms. Yesenia has been greatly inspired by her experiences in Guyana and plans continue teaching with a focus on Special Education when she returns to the US.”At the simple ceremony, Club President Luana Falconer expressed heartfelt pleasure in honouring the three awardees on behalf of her Rotary club. She reflected that even though their backgrounds were vastly different, they share the most important human attribute – that of using their vocation to impact and positively change lives of others,Justin Peters Capitals Jersey, one person, one child, at a time. In many ways she said, this exemplifies Rotary’s Ideal of “Service Above Self”.