Torrey Pines senior honored by Rotary Club
Receives annual Erik Scott Sorensen award
Torrey Pines graduating senior Nick Busch, who plans to attend Santa Barbara City College this fall, received the Del Mar Rotary Club’s Erik Scott Sorensen Service Above Self Award in a June 17 presentation.
The award is given to a Torrey Pines High School student who, “though physically challenged, is an inspiration to fellow students because of his or her positive approach to life and readiness to volunteer, capturing the spirit and principles of Rotary.”
In his acceptance speech at the Rotary meeting, Nick, born in 1992, said he developed a mild case of cerebral palsy, only affecting his right side, during delivery when the umbilical cord became wrapped around his neck and cut off oxygen to his brain.
Nick made a short speech to the Rotarians while accepting the award, drawing raucous applause from those in attendance. He attributed much of his success and self-esteem to his parents, Jackie and Rainer.
“They would tell me, especially when I was younger, they’d say, ‘Everyone has something wrong with them, whether it be the size of their nose, the size of their ears, the way one finger is larger than the other,’ ” he said. “I think that really pushed me to forget about … the things that were holding me back.”
The award is named for the late Erik Scott Sorensen, the son of former Rotarian President John Sorensen and his wife, Cindy. Erik suffered from muscular dystrophy and died in 1995.
Rotarian Marlene Gotz, who presented the award, said although Sorensen was the only wheelchair-bound student at TPHS during his tenure there, it never stopped his ambitiousness.
“Erik was greatly respected by both students and faculty for his amazing attitude and accomplishments, and really by everyone he touched with his warm and caring way,” she said.
In addition to the commemorative plaque, Nick will receive a check for $1,000 to be put toward his education. He said he aspires to someday be a writer and in his free time likes to skateboard, rollerblade, skim board and surf.
“I just like to get out and be active,” he said.
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