Alex Bender exemplifies the Rotary Club motto of “Service above self.” In his four years at Grandview High School, he has made his mark as a scholar, a student athlete and a student leader. He has volunteered his time and talents with many clubs and organizations that support his school and community. At the same time, he has taken seven Advanced Placement classes and maintained a 4.64 grade point average. So it’s no surprise that he was honored with an Aurora Rotary Club Student Award during the group’s meeting on April 8.
Each spring, the Aurora Rotary Club presents a Student Award to one high school student from Cherry Creek Schools and one from Aurora Public Schools. The award honors students who excel in scholarship, community service, school citizenship and significant improvement. Adriana Montiel, a senior at Hinkley High School, was selected as the APS honoree. Each student's school also receives a $100 grant for a school club or organization.
Bender was chosen because of his academic achievement and involvement in school activities. Those include the Athletics and Activities Council, the Spanish Honor Society, the boys soccer team, where he has served as captain the past two years, and something called the “Flag Boys.”
“We basically wear long shorts and high socks and act goofy and encourage school spirit and entertain the crowd at sporting events,” Bender said.
Bender has also been involved in the GHS Student Leadership group for the past two years and is the school’s student body president this year.
“When Alex was a freshman, you wouldn’t have expected him to be student body president his senior year,” said Sarah Grobbel, principal of Grandview High School. “He didn’t get involved with Student Leadership until his junior year, but in six months he made his mark. He appreciates the traditions that exist at Grandview, but he also challenges the status quo.”
This year, Bender helped Grandview raise more than $23,000 for the Make a Wish Foundation. That money will grant the wishes of at least three children who are battling life-threatening illnesses.
Bender will graduate in May and is still deciding where he will attend college. He’s considering the University of Colorado at Boulder, the University of Texas at Austin and Northeastern University in Boston.