Posted by Nasrin Barbee on Oct 09, 2018
My name is Nasrin Barbee, and I’m a residential architect servicing all of southern California. I’ve been a member of the Rancho Bernardo Sunrise Rotary since 1994.
Like most people, I spent years volunteering without any long-term strategy for my life. The irony of an architect not having a blueprint hasn’t been lost on me.
With my children in school, I joined community organizations and professional groups hoping to expand my network. When the RB Sunrise Rotary appeared on my radar I saw it as a good resource for business development and signed up.
I joined to meet other professionals, but never realized how Rotary would affect my life. This incredible International organization fascinated me with all it was doing for local communities across the globe. Whatever my interest, from hands-on efforts to clean water projects 5,000 miles away, there was always something I could enthusiastically dig into.
Appealing opportunities began to arise weekly as this club helped seniors in need, elementary school children, and arranged educational scholarships for traveling teenagers and college students. We’d get involved with community cleanup projects, supporting our veterans and troops overseas.
At every turn I enjoyed raising funds for our amazing club projects. I was honored to serve in almost every senior club position, including president.
Most Rotarians experience an “AHA!” moment, when the proverbial light bulb goes on over your head and you suddenly “Get it.” I’ve been fortunate to experience many such moments, with one of my favorites being our annual trip to Tijuana to build a house in a day. It’s an emotional experience to see a team of 40 committed Rotarians taking their day off to build a home for a family they don’t know and will likely never meet again. And when the keys to the new home are handed to the family, it’s hard to keep from crying and appreciating the good life that we, ourselves have.
Rotary has had an intense impact on everyone in my family. It guided my daughter to the Peace Corps, where she helped develop a self-sustaining business model in the form of a sewing school at a Nicaraguan pregnancy clinic. Funding for the clinic, of course, was provided by the Rancho Bernardo Sunrise Rotary Club.
Rotary has taught me the importance of Service Above Self. Yes, I’ve done business with some of the people in the room, but that’s become a secondary issue. Much more important are the wonderful friendships I’ve formed, the community support I’ve been able to provide, and the lives I’ve been able to positively impact.
So, ultimately, the question isn’t why did I join Rotary. The REAL question is…why haven’t you?
You can meet Nasrin and dozens of other North County professionals every Tuesday morning, 7am, at the Rancho Bernardo Country Club. Visit for additional information.