The Laredo Rotary Club offers one of the most unique service programs with the Diploma Plus program for high school seniors at-risk of dropping out. 
Working in cooperation with all of the local public high schools, Rotary volunteers and volunteers from the Rotary family, school Counselors recommend students who are most at-risk.
One or two volunteers are designated liaisons for each of the nine high schools. The volunteers mentor the students and track their progress.

Currently, 69 students were approved for $800 scholarships.  The Committee’s goal is to raise $50,000 each year.
The number of students selected each year depends on the amount of funds raised.  The program is in its ninth year of operation and has distributed $262,103 to local youth including sponsoring students to attend RYLA, supporting Boy Scouts events and other activities.
What is most distinctive about this youth service activity is that the scholarships are distributed while the students are in high school. 
The scholarship funds are disseminated after report cards are issued, thus, holding the students accountable for their performance which means maintaining passing grades and 90% or better attendance.  The results are a 98% graduation rate.
The scholarships are especially beneficial because at-risk students face many obstacles such as
  • serious economic and emotional hardships,
  • family conflicts,
  • academic inefficiencies,
  • single parent households,
  • death of a parent, etc. 
Many of the students are first generation high school graduates who are role models for their younger siblings and a great source of pride for their parents. 
The students learn the value of prioritizing the use of their scholarship money and report that the scholarship helped them tremendously to stay focused, disciplined and with a renewed optimistic outlook on their future.  The students apply the funds for multiple things such as
  • basic needs,
  • transportation,
  • uniforms,
  • school supplies,
  • college entrance exam fees and
  • senior year expenses
which allow them to participate along with their peers helping to make their senior year positively memorable. The Laredo Rotary Club hosts an annual awards lunch for the graduating seniors and their school Counselors.
Community partners include:
  • Laredo Community College,
  • Texas A&M International University,
  • Laredo Independent School District,
  • United Independent School District, and
  • Gateway Academy Charter School.
Our volunteers are Rotarians: Cecilia Garza, Committee Chair, Ed Gonzalez, Michael Landeck, Pat Abrego, Azucena Andrade, Edña Peña, Juan and Juanita Lira, Sara Alicia Pompa, Joe Treviño, Vincent Solis, Ruby Gonzalez, and Rotary family members: Hilda Treviño and Veronica Gonzalez. 
For more information, please contact J. Michael Dickerson, Lt. Governor of Youth Services at