"The Rotary Club was a large part of my family’s life for many years. My father was a member and served as President for a year. I volunteered every Fourth of July to make waffles at their annual Pancake Breakfast. As a Junior and Senior at Merrimack High School where I was Treasurer of The National Honor Society, I had the privilege to appear as a guest speaker to include the Rotary Club in our public service endeavors. The members were kind, supportive, and challenged me to serve my community.
Because of their generous scholarship, I was able to attend New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts and graduated in 2005 with Honors. I continued the volunteer efforts I learned from the Rotary throughout my time at NYU serving as a transfer mentor to incoming transfer students, a Tisch tour guide, and was granted a work study opportunity in the Tisch Office of Admissions for two years. I was even asked to lead my class into graduation, proudly holding the Tisch flag.
Since graduation, I have travelled the country and appeared several times Off-Broadway performing in plays and musicals as a proud member of the Actors Equity Association. I’ve originated roles in newly published work, had my direction and choreography featured on stages in NYC and MA, collaborated with countless talented professional creatives, and have continued volunteering with local schools bringing the joy and importance of live performance to children who have limited or no access to theatre.
I will always be grateful to The Merrimack Rotary Club for the opportunity to serve, grow, and live my dream."
Kristen Gehling, MHS '01
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