Volunteerism honored with Rotary’s Citizen, Young Person of Year

Jason Binet has spent a majority of his life as a volunteer, serving as a role model to children through soccer, baseball, religion, education and the Cub Scouts. Because of that dedication, Binet was named as the St. Charles Parish Rotary Club’s Citizen of the Year.

Binet, who has been employed by the Corps of Engineers for 19 years, has been an active board member of the St. Charles Soccer League for the past 14 years. During that time, Binet not only coached the teams that his sons played on, but coached other teams as well. In fact, some years he would coach multiple teams at the same time.

Binet brings that experience to Hahnville High School, where he currently serves as the president of the school’s soccer booster club. And if that isn’t enough, Binet also serves as a volunteer religion teacher for seventh graders at St. Anthony of Padua Catholic Church in Luling.

“This is a great community to be a part of, and over the years, it has only gotten better,” Binet said.

Binet graduated from Hahnville in 1984, and while at the school, he was a football letterman and received the Student Athlete Award. After high school, Binet headed to Louisiana Tech and eventually graduated from UNO with a B.S. in engineering.

From 1997 to 2001, Binet volunteered as an adjunct professor from UNO and taught Engineering Orientation at both Hahnville and Destrehan. The goal of the program was to introduce young students to the basics of engineering.
He was also a volunteer Cub Scout leader for three years, and was a Boy Scout assistant Scout Master of Troop 34 for six years.

In his professional life with the Corps, Binet worked on the Davis Pond Freshwater Diversion project and is currently the senior designer for the East Bank St. Charles Hurricane Protection Levee.

He lives in Luling with his wife Gretchen and his two sons, who attend Hahnville.

“It is obvious that Jason Binet not only volunteers in community activities, but assumes a leadership role in any project that he participates,” Ed Wahden, who nominated Binet for Citizen of the Year, said. “I have known Jason for 20 years and I have always been impressed with his willingness to volunteer and contribute his time and energies to youth activities of our community.”

In addition to honoring the Citizen of the Year, the Rotary Club also named its two Young Persons of the Year.

DHS’s Taylor Scyster honored
The first honoree was Destrehan High School’s Taylor Scyster. Scyster is a Principal’s Scholar, a Student of the Year nominee, a Wendy’s High School Heisman and a published writer for Creative Communications. In addition, she was also named to the all-district soccer team this year, won the Character Education Award for sportsmanship in soccer and was named to the Girl’s Academic All-State team.

“Henry David Thoreau once said, ‘One is not born into the world to do everything, but to do something,’” Scyster said. “My ‘something’ started out as small acts of kindness.”

During her freshman year, Scyster lent a hand at a concession stand for a local soccer tournament, made meals for work teams who came to gut houses affected by Hurricane Katrina and painted the Fellowship Hall of her church. She also created informational packets for a small business.

During her sophomore year, she became involved in both the student council and the Second Harvester’s Food Bank.

Scyster continued that community involvement with a mission trip to Belize her junior year and a  visit to Samson, Ala. this year, where she helped repaint buildings and repair other parts of a camp that she visits annually.

Over the past two years, she has also headed toy drives for needy children around the world and book drives for the East Bank Head Start Program. In addition, Scyster helped raise more than $800 for cancer research by setting up a water balloon booth at the Relay For Life event.

“I have done many service projects, but I certainly have not done everything,” Scyster said. “My small acts of kindness soon led to my participation in global projects that have made a difference.”

Hahnville’s Eric Bishop honored
The other honoree was Hahnville’s Eric Bishop. Bishop, who contributes weekly articles to the Times-Picayune and helps out at the parish library, has also been a co-captain of the Fellowship of Christian Athletes for the past two years and has spent four years in the school’s band, serving as vice-president for one year.

In addition, Bishop has been a member of Hahnville’s baseball team for the past three years, a member of Beta Club for four years and held a place on the National Honor Society for three years.

He has won several awards over the years, including the Dow Academic Excellence Award, the topical winner of the Live Poet’s Society of New Jersey’s National Poetry Contest and he was named a National Merit Finalist.

Bishop has a 4.0 GPA, has made the Superintendent’s List for the last four years and was named a “Who’s Who Among American High School Students.”

He was also selected by his senior class to serve on the homecoming court and will be attending the University of Alabama’s Business Leadership Academy next fall.

“Everybody wants to know ‘where are you going to school?’” Bishop said. “I’m going to Alabama, which isn’t a popular choice around here because people say ‘how can you go near that traitor?’

“Well, I want everyone to know that I’m not going to be playing football.”


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