NEW ULM - The New Ulm Rotary Club's STRIVE awards banquet Tuesday honored four local seniors who worked hard to raise their academic achievement this past year.
STRIVE is a program designed to challenge and assist students to do their best in their final high school year. Students receive mentoring from local Rotarians, and those who raise their grade point averages the most earn scholarships for their post-secondary education through STRIVE.
The four STRIVE participants this year were Adam Berg, son of Pat and Renae Berg; Zachary Lingl, son of Connie Lingl and Kevin Lingl; Michael Soukup, son of Linda and Paul Soukup, and Dylan Tierney, son of Jessica and Darin Zanke.
Staff photo by Kevin Sweeney
Students honored at the New Ulm Rotary Club STRIVE banquet Tuesday are (from left) Zachary Lingl, Dylan Tierney, Michael Soukup and Adam Berg.
Lingl earned a $400 scholarship, Soukup a $500 scholarship, Tierney a $600 scholarship, and Berg a $750 scholarship.
Pastor Ric Jacobson of Oakwood United Methodist Church was the main speaker. He warned the students that these are tough times to be going to college - costs are high and loans are burdensome, and there's little assurance that a good-paying, satisfying job lies on the other side of college.
Jacobson urged the students to "have a dream... to listen to your heart and have a goal." But he advised them to be ready to change direction as their dreams change.
Jacobson told the student to keep "poking" their dream, to "try to put some holes in it. That's how you find out whether it is a dream you can pursue. When you find out it's not the dream you expected - change the dream! Don't be afraid to learn what you don't want to do in life."
He urged students to visit colleges, sit in on classes, talk to professors, to shadow people who work in professions they are interested in. Pay attention to the classes you take in areas outside your major field, too, said Jacobson. You may find an interest in something you never thought of pursuing.
Jacobson said students should dream not just of what kind of work they will do, but how they can serve others through volunteerism. A friend of his worked for the Soo Line Railroad, a good job that supported him and his family, a job that he liked. But his big joy in life, the thing that brought him great satisfaction and personal rewards, was being a Boy Scout leader. People who look for ways to serve others and enrich their communities find that it gives true meaning to their lives, said Jacobson.
"When you live part of your life in the service of others - you become richer in the things that make life worthwhile," he said.