Rota-scholars is administered by a board of directors, a slate of officers and local project director(s). Funds received in the United States are entered into a U.S. checking account then forwarded, as needed, to a Mexican account which is overseen by the Rotary Club Cuauhtemoc Tarahumara. The Mexican club disburses funds and audits all payments. Although Rotary clubs help with administration, Rota-Scholars is not associated with Rotary International and is open to everyone who wishes to help students of the Copper Canyon region of Mexico. ROTA-SCHOLARS is a qualified 501(c)(3) organization. Our Federal tax identification number is: 26-0426525. There are no fees or administrative charges. 100% of all donations are used for scholarships.


John Shellenberger 

John Shellenberger is the founding President of Rota-Scholars and served as World Community Service chairman for the Marin Evening Rotary Club in San Rafael, CA. He was a member of that club from 1985-2008 and served as President from 1992-1994. John is an independent Certified Financial Planner; he and his wife, Carol, recently moved to Montana. He is the father of two adult children, Mark and Christine.





Secretary of the Board

 This Position is presently vacant.





Brad Williams

Brad Williams came to the United States thirty years ago, he has been practicing as a Certified Public Accountant and is now a partner in a Novato, California, accounting firm. He has been a member of the Novato Rotary Club since 1992 and has served as Club Treasurer and as Treasurer of the club's endowment fund. Brad is also a member of the Finance Committee of the Novato Community Hospital. He is married to Cathy and the father of two daughters.


Sierra Tarahumara Educational Project (STEP)
Project Co-Directors

Doug “Diego” Rhodes


Doug Rhodes and his wife, Ana Maria, own and operate the Hotel Paraiso del Oso near Cerocahui, Chihuahua. Doug travels significantly through backcountry areas while guiding wilderness trips. During his trips he was frequently approached by teachers and parents seeking help for students from remote areas, places not served by other groups. At Doug’s request, Rota-Scholars was founded in July, 2007. He feels strongly that education is the key to realizing life’s potential and has supported both schools and scholarships for many years. Doug is a member of the Cuauhtemoc Tarahumara Rotary Club. For several years he worked with Canyon Scholars and was recognized for his contributions at their annual board meeting in 2006.



Hermana Patricia de Jesus Torres Hernandez

Hermana (Sister) Paty has dedicated her life to others, a Sister in the Catholic order Misioneras de la Euaristía she is originally from Coatzalcoalcos, Vera Cruz. She is in charge of the local branch of the order and, as such, oversees many community outreach programs and programs such as Rota-Schoars designed to help youth become leaders in the Sierra Tarahumara. She joined us in 2009 and is in the process of working towards obtaining official non-profit status in Mexico. She and Doug are working closely to establish a network of tutors to oversee the wide-spread schools attended by Rota-Scholars students. They are also working together to promote continued support of the scholarship program through donations from Mexican sponsors.

Rota-Scholars is a qualified 501(c)(3) organization

Federal tax identification number: 26-0426525.

There are no fees or administrative charges.
100% of all donations are used for scholarships.
For more information write us at:

88 Rowland Way,  Suite 165
Novato, CA. 94945-5042
telephone 415-898-3130
or email us at: