The Central Lakes Rotary Club completed another year of collaboration with Pine River-Backus and Pequot Lakes high schools to provide a practical exposure to local business women and men who volunteer to come into the classroom and share their experiences that relate to their appreciation for education.

This year approximately 20 students at each school participated in S.T.R.I.V.E. (Students Taking a Renewed Interest in the Value of Education) as adult volunteer mentors and speakers emphasized the value of education beyond high school, whether it be in the military, technical school, college or self-employment.

As an example, Dave Johnson, retired executive with Anderson Brothers Construction in Brainerd, led an inspiring discussion about how employers choose and hire new employees and discriminate (discern) against perceived weaknesses or character flaws.

S.T.R.I.V.E. involves 12 one-hour sessions that, if successfully completed, rewards the students with a $250 scholarship.

Recently Karli Monahan, a 2019 Pequot Lakes graduate and S.T.R.I.V.E. student, provided Rotary with a transcript proving successful completion of her first year at Bethel University in St. Paul where she is studying psychology with a goal of becoming a geriatric psychologist. She hopes to someday help conquer debilitating diseases such as Alzheimer’s and dementia.

Monahan not only is a focused student, but she also works on campus part time.

“I’ve found the part-time job to be exceptionally rewarding to be able to give back to the college I am attending while also helping to pay for my education,” said.

Monahan expressed her appreciation for the generosity of the central lakes community where so many organizations distribute scholarships and encourage so many students to further their education.

Central Lakes Rotary welcomes more volunteer mentors to help the S.T.R.I.V.E. program continue to support students. Call Bruce Meade at 218-556-8906 for more information.