Rotary honors STRIVE students

NEW ULM – The New Ulm Rotary Club honored the participants in its STRIVE Program this year, presenting plaques and scholarships to the four New Ulm High School seniors who worked to improve their grades this year.

At a banquet at New Ulm Country Club, Ashley Esser, daughter of Dan and Sheila Esser, and Shamara Hornick, daughter of Byron and Linda Hornick, each received $750 scholarship grants. Brian Tohal, the STRIVE program coordinator for Rotary, said the two were tied in the amount of increase in their grade point averages.

James Arndt, son of Randy and Renee Arndt, received a $600 scholarship, and Jack Sletta, son of Lee and Terri Sletta, received a $400 scholarship for their efforts this past school year.

Roger Ryberg, retired CEO of Windings, Inc., was the keynote speaker.

“I was an average student in school, I did not excel; so STRIVE is a program that is near and dear to my heart,” he said.

Ryberg said he did have perseverance, however, and a clear vision that he wanted to go to Iowa State University and study engineering. After college, he worked at 3M as an engineer, and set a goal of being a plant manager. He persevered, worked on the kinds of experience and accomplishments he needed to achieve the goal, and made it.

Then, he had a vision of going into business for himself, and he acquired Windings, Inc. in 1983.

Ryberg encouraged the students to create their own visions, to think about where they wanted to be and what they wanted to be doing in five or 10 years. The next step is to layout a plan for getting there, and work on achieving their visions.

Ryberg said there would be bumps along the way, disappointments and failures. That’s where perseverance is needed.

“Perseverance is more important than grades,” he said. “Take your failures, and turn them into learning experiences, then build on them.”

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