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Students taking a renewed interest in the value of education

The Pine River-Backus STRIVE Team of 2013-14 met recently with Central Lakes Rotary at Bites Grill & Bar in Pine River to celebrate its successful completion and scholarship awards.

The 16 senior students were selected and invited by Principal Trent Langemo and student counselor Mary Sigan to participate in the Rotary STRIVE program.

Each student signed a commitment pledge that he or she would attend two noon meetings each month September through May. The students pledged to graduate and complete a S.M.A.R.T Journey in Personal Growth expressing their interests and goals for life after May 2014 graduation.

The team included Langemo, Sigan, Rotary directors and 10 mentors from Rotary and the lakes community. Throughout the program 17 speakers presented topics: survive or thrive, power of positive thinking, perseverance and self worth, opportunity/goal setting, test taking, making choices, personal growth plan, free enterprise-opportunity, career planning, mock interviews, communication/relationships and discrimination in hiring/dress for success. The high point of the sessions was a field day for students and their mentors to Central Lakes College.

All of the students were well groomed, polite and participated well throughout the year.

Fourteen students will be presented scholarships: three of $1,000 each, and 11 of $200 each to be paid to the accredited school of their choice by February 2015.

Continuing education destinations include: four to Central Lakes College (one for general studies, one for computer science, one for dental assistant and one for special education), one nursing at Bemidji State, one Regency School for Cosmetology, one electrical lineman at Wadena Technical College, one law enforcement at Wadena Technical College, one forestry at Itasca Community College, one elementary education at Itasca Community College and Bemidji State University, one law enforcement at Mankato State University, one massage therapy at Wadena Technical College, one pre-pharmacy at University of Minnesota Morris and one Army National Guard.

This program has enhanced these students’ opportunities to be hard working and successful, responsible, and outstanding citizens.

Denton (Denny) Newman Jr.
I've worked at the Brainerd Dispatch with various duties since Dec. 7, 1983. Starting off as an Ad Designer and currently Director of Audience Development. The Dispatch has been an interesting and challenging place to work. I'm fortunate to have made many friends, both co-workers and customers.
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