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Seniors STRIVE toward Rotary scholarship awards

Fifteen STRIVE seniors won scholarships from the Rotary Club of New Richmond. Pictured above are, Front (left-right): Mike Montello, Russ Korpela, Stephanie Schwan, Jessica Hesselink, Darian Veenendahl, Kelsey Dahlquist, Chauntel Schultz, Kristin Mishler, Anthony Mara, Mike Derrick and Joe Huftel. Back (left-right): Alyssa Fahsling, Scott Anderson, Jenny Kieckhoefer and Rachel Kerlin. Not pictured: Patrick Hailey, Lacey Laughan, Charlie Gartner and Trish Braun.

Fifteen seniors at New Richmond High School were awarded $5,800 in scholarships from New Richmond Rotary Club for bettering their GPAs this year.

Normally the club gives out about $3,000 in scholarship money, said Paula Gretzlock, high school counselor.

The scholarships are part of the STRIVE program, a program designed to encourage students to improve their grade point average by at least half a letter grade. To qualify, seniors needed to start with a GPA at or below 3.5.

STRIVE, which stands for Seniors Taking Responsibility Improving Virtually Everything, awards scholarships ranging from $100 to $1,000 depending on the increase in GPA. It's sponsored by the Rotary Club of New Richmond

Rotary member Mike Montello said the program is designed for kids who might not have taken their high school career seriously at first.

"We're trying to reinforce the idea that each day is a new day and that you can start over," he said. "It's never too late to start moving in a positive direction."

Of the 83 seniors that participated in STRIVE meetings, 52 were able to increase their GPAs, said Gretzlock.

Bettering their grades isn't the only requirement of the STRIVE participants.

Qualifying students (those with a GPA of 3.5 or below) were required to improve their GPA by at least a half letter grade, maintain at least 90 percent attendance through the entire year, attend five STRIVE meetings, attend a Rotary Club lunch meeting, complete four hours of "empowerment" activities, maintain full-time status and pass all courses during the school year.

Following is a list of the scholarship winners, the amount of which they increased their GPA and the total dollar amount won:

• Alyssa Fahsling -- 1.544; $1,000

• Chauntel Schultz -- 1.229; $800

• Patrick Hailey -- 1.174; $700

• Trish Braun -- .884; $500

• Kristin Mishler -- .880; $500

• Stephanie Schwan -- .781; $400

• Scott Anderson -- .723; $400

• Jenny Kieckhoefer -- .638; $300

• Jessica Hesselink -- .620; $300

• Darian Veenendahl -- .552; $250

• Rachel Kerlin -- .523; $250

• Kelsey Dahlquist -- .068; $100

• Charlie Gartner -- .061; $100

• Lacey Laughan -- .417; $100

• Anthony Mara -- .300; $100

"This is a huge testament to our community's support of our kids, along with the hard work our kids put forward to earn this incredible amount of scholarship money," Gretzlock said.

Jackie Grumish
Jackie Grumish has been a reporter with the New Richmond News since 2008. She holds degrees in journalism and fine art from Northern Illinois University in DeKalb, Ill. Before coming to New Richmond, Jackie worked as the city government reporter at a daily newspaper in Aberdeen, S.D. 
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