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Rosemount Rotary brings mentoring program back for another year

Rosemount Rotarians will help high school seniors identify their goals and provide guidance on how to achieve them.

Eighteen strangers met on Friday to start a relationship that will blossom over the course of the school year. They introduced themselves and talked about the future.

Nine of the people are Rosemount High School seniors. The other nine are members of the Rosemount Rotary Club. They are all participants in the STRIVE Program.

"STRIVE is a neat program because it connects adults and students," said Rotary president Paul Eggen.

STRIVE coordinator Lisa Lusk said the program aims to help students thrive through their last year of high school and start to help the students plan for the future. This is the third year the Rosemount Rotary Club has offered the program. STRIVE is an acronym for Students Taking Renewed Interest in the Value of Education.

The mentors and students meet twice a month. During the sessions, the mentor will introduce topics including resume writing, goal setting, interviewing skills and college preparation, among other topics. Additionally, the group will visit Inver Hills Community College and Dakota County Technical College.

Students who meet attendance and grade point requirements are eligible for a $500 scholarship at the end of the program. The student who improves his or her GPA the most will receive another $500. DCTC, Inver Hills and Normandale Community College will match the scholarships for students who enroll at their schools.

Last year the Rosemount STRIVE program had nine students participate. Seven received scholarships. Lusk said they are excited about the upcoming year and hope to have another successful group of students go through.

Assistant RHS principal Kim Budde said the program is valuable because it offers the students one on one attention.

"Sometimes it is nice to hear advice from someone other than your parents or your school personnel," said Budde.

Budde added that she recently talked with a former STRIVE student who said she was happy to have her mentor in her life.

"I think that statement alone speaks to how valuable the mentor was for that student," said Budde.

Eggen said mentors get a great deal out of participating with the program as well. The Rosemount club has 15 members, so more than half of the club volunteers to mentor. Eggen said several have mentored all three years.

"For the Rotarians that have mentored ... I think it's really been a positive experience," said Eggen.

Emily Zimmer
Emily Zimmer has worked as a staff writer for the Rosemount Town Pages since 2007. She has a degree in journalism from Minnesota State University, Mankato. Outside of work, Emily enjoys running, reading and gardening. You can follow Emily's gardening adventures at the Areavoices blog East of Weedin'
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