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Where and how did STRIVE originate?
 
STRIVE originated at the White Bear Rotary Club in 1991. Don Mooney, who was then Vocational Service Chair and was seeing how successful a program called Junior Achievement was, began asking himself what Rotary could do to help students who are having very little success in the classroom. Recalling his high school experience of not always living at home, having little supervision, little motivation toward school and the resulting grades, Don remembered that he discovered that by showing up for class and doing his homework his grades went from D's and F's to B's and C's. He went to college later and did well. He wanted these underachievers in high school to know now what he found out later in life, so he developed the STRIVE Program.

How, in short, can STRIVE be described?

STRIVE is a Partners in Education Project that is a proven program that motivates achievement in students who are academically at risk. It is a scholarship program that recognizes and rewards students in the lower range of class standing who show the greatest improvement in grades during their senior year of high school.

Who does STRIVE reach?

STRIVE reaches students who have found little success in the classroom. Students who rank in the lower third of the class may have the same natural abilities and gifts as those in the upper two thirds of the class. The difference is often motivation, work habits, self-esteem, attendance, and performance in the classroom. STRIVE challenges these students to improve their work, gain self-confidence and discover the satisfaction of achievement.

How does STRIVE work?

Students that qualify for the program are invited to commit to the STRIVE program as they enter their senior year. They begin by signing the STRIVE commitment to:
*  Regular in attendance (show up).
*  Work and study to the best of their ability (do a little work).
*  Develop a positive attitude (get the chip off their shoulder).
Throughout the school year Rotarians meet with the students twice monthly in a group setting to mentor and encourage the students in their strive for better grades and attendance.
At the end of the school year the students with the most improvement in their grade point average and attendance are recognized with scholarships and other awards at a Celebration Banquet.

Who are the STRIVE partners?

The Maple Grove Rotary Club is the administrator of the program at the high school. Rotarians are often assisted in the meetings with the students by other volunteers from the community. The high school administrators, staff, and teachers must be committed to the program in order for it to be successful, as they assist by identifying the qualifying students, cooperate with having the student miss classes to be at the meetings, and record the attendance. The North Hennepin Community College Foundation, the Hennepin Technical College Foundation, Anoka Ramsey College, and Dunwoody match the funds contributed by the Rotary Club, doubling the scholarship pool.  Our hope is to include other foundations or businesses in the partnership, should they desire to contribute funds toward the expense of administering the program or toward the scholarships awarded to the most improved students each year

What are the expenses of STRIVE?

The cost to administer the program at each of the two high schools is approximately $500 per year, which includes the cost of postage and office supplies (letters are sent to the students prior to each meeting).

The Rotary club provides snacks and drink at each meeting.

The scholarships awarded at each of the two high schools is as follows:

  •     Most improved GPA  $750.00
  •     2nd most improved GPA  $750.00
  •     3 based on participation, attendance, and GPA $500.00

* The College Foundation contributes 1/2.

The STRIVE Celebration Banquet, which is held at Edinburgh U.S.A Clubhouse and is attended by Rotarians and the students and parents from both high schools, costs approximately $2000.00, depending on total attendance.

What is the future of STRIVE?

The members of the Rotary Club of Maple Grove have made a commitment to continue the program  and reach as many students as possible as long as the following conditions exist:
    *The high school administrators see the advantages to the students and continue to accept the program.
    * The students that qualify for the program accept the challenge.
    * Sufficient funds are available to continue the program.