Stillwater Sunrise Rotary has awarded $13,000 in scholarships to six Stillwater Area High School seniors.  STRIVE is a mentoring partnership between Stillwater Area High School, Stillwater Sunrise Rotary Club, Lake Elmo Rotary Club, and Stillwater Noon Rotary Club. STRIVE Mentoring partners adults from the community with high school students to ENCOURAGE, INSPIRE & CHALLENGE them to discover their strengths and talents, and increase their personal and academic achievement. The adults and students meet throughout the year, listening to speakers, working together in team building activities, and engaging in meaningful conversation. This year we had 28 mentors and 52 students.
All six scholarship winners and their families attended Stillwater Sunrise Rotary’s annual scholarship celebration. This year’s event was held virtually, but during the meeting, scholarship winner Vanessa Yang shared, “The most impactful part of STRIVE Mentoring for me is seeing the adults smile as they remembered and shared their past. I look forward to someday doing the same thing.”
• $9,000 from Stillwater Sunrise Rotary. Committed to this amount annually through 2022.
• $3,000 from Lake Elmo Rotary. Committed to this amount annually through 2023.
• $1,000 from Stillwater Rotary (Noon). One year commitment.
• Grace Roeske--$1,500 for four years. $6,000 total. Planning to attend University of Wisconsin—Eau Claire.
• Lauren Enerson--$1,500. Planning to attend University of Wisconsin-Stout
• Linda Hill--$1,500. Planning to attend St. Cloud State University
• Millie Osei--$1,500. Planning to attend St. Thomas University
• Vanessa Yang--$1,500. Planning to attend Century College.
• Piper Zoller--$1,000. Planning to attend Winona State University.
The first five scholarship winners applied by creating a project that dealt with Rotary’s 4 Way Test of the things we think, say and do. Enerson said in her application, “I proudly say that I now regularly use the 4-way test in my everyday life.” Hill reflected more deeply into what the 4-Way Test questions represent and summarized them, “Could I be more understanding of what other people need?” Millie Osei wrote about the podcast she started with StoryArk called “BroadSpectrum.” The podcast “had an impact on many students and even administration.” Vanessa looked at the 4-Way Test and believes is can be summed up, “Be the best you can be!” Grace Roeske applied during the early weeks of the coronavirus pandemic and believed the 4-Way Test questions compelled her to spread hope. She went out to the Boutwells Landing area and wrote positive messages on the sidewalks that the Boutwells residents and neighbors would walk past.
Rotary Clubs around the world raise money through events to fund their community and worldwide service. Stillwater Sunrise Rotary raises the $9,000 for the scholarships through their annual Brewers & Bourbon Bazaar, which in 2020 will be held on Saturday, October3 in downtown Stillwater.
What is STRIVE Mentoring? – STRIVE is a well-researched and educationally sound program designed to connect Stillwater Area High School (SAHS) students in 11th and 12th grade with mentors from the community. Some of the benefits sought from the student/mentor partnership include:
• Improved academic performance
• Expanded vision for career options
• Better planning for post-secondary education and skilled trades careers
• Reinforcement of positive personal values and decision-making skills
• Increased self-awareness of value and hope for the future STRIVE Mentoring Statistics-
• STRIVE has been connecting and mentoring students with SAHS since 1996.
• Over the past years 250 students have participated in and connected with a mentor.
• 115 community members have been mentors. Some for many years dating back to 1996.
• $60,000 in Strive Scholarships have been given to students over the years.
STRIVE Mentoring Video: Check out this great overview of our program -
STRIVE Program Goals:
  • Our desire is to have 40-60 mentors to serve 60-80 students. 
  • We hope to extend support and participation in STRIVE Mentoring with St. Croix Valley area employers for innovative engagement.
  • We target expanding to an annual scholarship payout of $25,000 to 15-20 students annually.