You could hear Zaineb gasp when she saw the check she was awarded.
The Rotary International Theme for the 2021-22 Rotary Year is “Serve to Change Lives”. That is what Lincoln South Rotary Club President, DeEtta Vrana, set out to do.
Per Vrana “I was so impressed with the creativity and determination of this 18 year old” after reading the article in the Lincoln Journal Star about Lincoln High School senior, Zaineb Aljumayaat. Zaineb who competed in a national competition to create a prom dress out of Duct Tape.
The design was based on the Shikh Zayed mosque in Abu Dhabi and honors her Middle Eastern Culture. She received 34 rolls of Duct Tape in seven colors and invested 152 hours of hard work, creativity, frustration and tears. Encouraged by her sister, Shahad, she completed the spectacular Duct Tape Dress, Purse, Shoes and Headpiece.
Vrana learned that it was Zaineb’s dream to attend the Rhode Island School of Design but that funding was a concern. Vrana was able to get support for a $1,000 award from Roper’s Vice President Dean Schneider and she had the support of the Lincoln South Rotary Club Board to put the club name on the project. With the help of fellow Rotarian and retired Lincoln High Principal Mike Wortman and Nicole Barnes Lincoln High School Counselor of International Baccalaureate Program, she connected with Zaineb.
Zaineb stated “As difficult as this contest was, it gave me the opportunity to meet wonderful people such as the members of the Lincoln South Rotary Club who chose to help me and listen to my story”.
Lincoln South Rotary Club Members, besides Vrana, met with Zaineb. Chan Tyrrell, Mary Gilbride and Suni Kasibhatia were equally impressed with more than Zaineb’s project.  The Board Members noted the integrity and character of Zaineb and stated “{she} is very insightful on her views of our environment, cultures, believing in yourself and pursuing a dream.”
Lincoln South Rotary Club Board Member, Suni Kasibhatla, stated, “Zaineb has an important message for the next generations - using our planet's resources wisely and taking lessons from many indigenous cultures of how they live a happy life through sharing and not through possessions.  She wants to make sure her next generations and society think about the "Give and Get culture", not only learn how to preserve our planet's limited resources but how to be happy with what we have.”
Per Board Member Mary Gilbride, “It was such a privilege to meet Zaineb!  As we talked with her, we were impressed with her maturity and her “beyond her years” insight.  It was also a privilege to meet her sister, Shahad, whose loving support for, and admiration of Zaineb inspired and delighted all of us.”
Finally, from Board Member and Past President of Lincoln South Rotary Club, Chan Tyrrell, “We read about young people today not maturing until they are well into their twenties, but when I had the pleasure of interviewing Zaineb, I met someone more mature than her age. The journey she is on will take her far in life and should be an inspiration to each of us.”
“I am so grateful for this money. For me this gift is life changing and will allow me to attend college comfortably. Thank you, Lincoln South Rotary Club” stated Zaineb as she was presented with the $1,000 check at a recent Rotary Club meeting.
Lincoln South Rotary Club Serves to Change Lives.
Middle Photo - Bill Roper and DeEtta Vrana present check.
Right Photo - members of the interview committee present check - Chan Tyrrell, Suni Kasibhatla, Mary Gilbride and DeEtta Vrana.