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Share Your Senior Story: 2020 Scholarship Giveaway

This June Minnwest Bank asked 2020 Graduates what THEIR senior story was for a chance to win a $1000 scholarship. We wanted to know who inspired them. We asked what achievements they are most proud to share. We asked them what they were doing outside of the classroom and what is next for them.

We received so many wonderful entries with lots of big dreams for the future ahead. The positivity and strength of our 2020 Graduates is inspiring and we look forward to watching their continued growth!

Thank you to all who submitted your Senior Stories!

Vanessa Dahlgren
Kayla Aymar
Grace Falteysek
John Czerwinski
Gran Hoff
Preston Enevoldsen
Leonard W. Stewart Jr.
Megan Johnson
Jenna Whitmore
McKenzie Seidell
Ethan Santema
Ashlyn Doering

Our three winners were Gracie Korstjens, Keelie Van Hee, and Alex Formo. We share their stories with you and hope that you too, will look forward to their bright futures!

Gracie Korstjens

Currently, my future plans involve attending Augustana University for a double major in Biology and Art, and a minor in Psychology. I’m choosing to study Art simply because it is a great passion of mine, and in Biology and Psychology because I am greatly interested in a career in Genetics Counseling. This desire to pursue this career comes from a multitude of different places, the first being my sister, Paige. I am the oldest of four kids, and Paige is going to be a 7th grader this coming school year. She was diagnosed with a rare genetic disorder called Primary Ciliary Dyskinesia at a very young age, and therefore my family has had to learn how to give her the best care that we can. With biannual trips to see a specialist on her condition in Denver, CO, and daily Vest therapy treatments, Paige is able to live a mostly normal 7th grade life (including all the boy problems and middle school drama). Because of her condition though, I have been able to see first hand the impact of a genetic disorder, and I want to do my best to educate and help those in similar situations.

Another big influence for me was my involvement in our local HOSA chapter. HOSA is an extra-curricular program that involves competing in health career related events. I have participated in HOSA since my sophomore year of high school, and I plan to continue helping with our local chapter along with the state competition however I can for the upcoming years. My sophomore year, I competed in the Rare Disease Display event, and actually ended up doing my presentation on my sister’s condition. I placed 2nd at the state level, qualifying me for the International Leadership Conference that was held in Dallas of that year. My junior year, I competed in the Extemporaneous Health Poster event, which allowed me to combine both my love for biology and art. This year, I placed first in my event, again qualifying me for ILC which took place in Orlando. Finally, my participation in HOSA took a different route my senior year. I again competed in the Extemporaneous Health Poster event and placed first, but I also took the role of our local HOSA chapter president. This was an amazing leadership role I never thought I could fulfill, but I am beyond grateful that I was able to. HOSA has been a wonderful learning opportunity for me, giving me the chance to enrich my leadership skills along with giving me the opportunity to learn about different health professions.

Keelie Van Hee

Graduation is super bittersweet. I’m sad to leave behind most of what I’ve only known my 18 years but beyond excited for what is to come. After graduation comes a new adventure in life that I can’t wait to embark on this fall. I plan to attend South Dakota State University to pursue a degree in Nursing! I have found a true passion of caring for others health and well-being which has made me want to be a Nurse. Changes in life are chances to improve, learn, and grow into who you want to be and who you were meant to be! I cannot thank my Mom, Dad, Stepdad, Siblings, Grandmas, Grandpas, Aunts, Uncles, Teachers, Coaches, and Biggest Supporters enough! I wouldn’t be this far without any of you who have helped me through so much. Here is to a new beginning!

Alex Formo

Throughout high school, I have participated in FFA outside of the classroom. I started this journey by becoming a member in 7th grade and working my way up to Director, Treasurer, Vice President, and finally President my senior year. This program has taught me to work well with others, how to be a leader, and grow my passion for agriculture. Also, through FFA, my advisors have inspired me to continue to teach and learn more about agriculture.

My future plans include attending Ridgewater College in Willmar, MN this coming fall where I will be majoring in Ag Business and GPS/GIS Technology.

Congratulations class of 2020!!

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