What is STRIVE?

STRIVE is a program where the Cadillac Rotary Club works with the Cadillac High School for the purpose of motivating students to improve their school performance during their senior year. The major aspect of the program is that it is Student Driven and only facilitated by Rotarians. This program is FUN, INTERACTIVE, and often involves each and every Rotarian!
What does STRIVE stand for?

STRIVE stands for, 'Students Taking Renewed Interest in the Value of Education'.

What is Stride for Strive?

A professionally organized 5K run, walk or rollerblade event in Cadillac to raise money for the Strive Scholarship program. The event is hosted locally on Memorial Day, starting at the Carl T. Johnson Center and routing 5 kilometers around the north side of Lake Cadillac to the finish line at the Rotary Performing Arts Pavilion. This event draws over 700 participants and co-hosts the 2nd largest "Girls on the Run" event in the nation. (http://www.girlsontherun.org/)

Click here for Stride for Strive Entry Form.

STRIVE Scholarships

The Cadillac Rotary Club awards scholarship(s) to three student(s) annually who demonstrate the most improvement during his/her senior year. The review criteria are based on improvement in the four focal points of the STRIVE Program: Attendance, Attitude, GPA, and Participation. Thousands of dollars in Scholarships are awarded to Strive Students by Rotary Clubs throughout the nation.

When did the STRIVE program begin?

STRIVE began in White Bear Lake, Minnesota, by Rotarian Don Monney (District 6600). Don decided during the 1993-94 school year to do something to assist in the educational development of the high school youth in his community. This was an opportunity for Don and the Rotary Club to "give back" to the youth his experiences that included successes and failures as a student and as a businessman.

The Cadillac Rotary Club started our Strive Program in 1995 and has continued through the dedication of several key Rotarians and CAPS staff.

"I have kids that were in the program come up to me all the time and tell me how the Strive program changed their lives," Chris Huckle, Cadillac News Publisher and Rotarian Strive Volunteer, "I talked to one of our former Strive kids, she went on to NMC, had a 4 point, and was working her way up through the ranks at the Grand Traverse Resort. She told me she thinks about the Strive principles every day."

Which Students are targeted to participate in this program?

The students are typically the lower one-third of the senior class based on grades - these students are identified by the high school. Flexibility is given to the school when choosing the students to invite.for example: a student might have grades that are not in the lower third of the class, however, the focus of this program would benefit the student.

Since STRIVE is voluntary program, the student and the parent(s) are asked to sign a commitment form. Once enrolled in the STRIVE program, the students are encouraged to improve their:


NOTE: only students who sign the commitment form are eligible to participate beyond the 2nd STRIVE meeting.

How Strive got started here in Cadillac

(Club Action - School Commitment - Student Orientation):

Action was taken by the Club's Board of Directors:
Reviewed the components of the program - obtain a favorable vote of approval to proceed with the program.

Identified 1-2 Rotarians to be responsible for facilitating this program with the local school district.

Established a scholarship to be awarded to the student who approves the most (again, based on Attendance, Attitude, GPA, and Participation). This scholarship will help generate some excitement amongst the students.

Set a date to review the program with school officials.

Presented STRIVE to the local school officials. Presentation highlights: History about Rotary and it's commitment to youth.

The program does not require any funding on the part of the school.

Explaining the uniqueness of this program in that it rewards improvement - very few programs nationally provide scholarships based on excellence through improvement.

The school needed to: Designate a member of faculty/staff to attend the meetings.

Provide a meeting room for the monthly meetings

Identify the students that will be invited to participate.

Offer positive reinforcement for the participating students

Scheduled a meeting in which the Rotary Club might present this program to the faculty. Faculty 'buy-in' is important because without it the teacher might view this program as another excuse a student isn't attending class.

Student Orientation... a two-step process:

First, letters are sent to both the student and parent outlining the purpose of STRIVE and uniqueness of this special invitation to participate.

Second, an orientation/motivation meeting is conducted. It is extremely important that a very dynamic speaker outlines the program. The anticipated outcome is that you'll have students accept the Rotary STRIVE challenge and sign the commitment form for the year. Again, only students who sign the commitment form by the 2nd STRIVE meeting should be allowed to participate.

When and How often do the STRIVE students meet?

Typically one-hour or one classroom period meetings are held monthly at an early hour in the day. A typical agenda is as follows:

Attendance is taken.
STRIVE goals are reaffirmed: being on time for classes, working a little bit harder at classroom assignments every day, demonstrating a positive attitude, participating in school and community activities.
Announcements about future monthly programs.

Speaker Presentation

Q&A time

Back to Class

How are topics chosen for the monthly presentations?

This is one of most important aspects of the STRIVE Program. The topics for each monthly presentation are chosen by the participating STRIVE students. Therefore, STRIVE truly becomes a Student-Driven program. Upon obtaining the topics from the students, the STRIVE Rotary Facilitators will secure speakers from the community to address the topics. Typically, the speakers are not faculty or staff members from the school.

Some examples of programs suggested by students include:
Interviewing and Resume Writing

Where is Computer Programming going?

Interest and Goal Setting

Owning a small business

Employment expectations

Jobs in the manufacturing sector

Getting into College when your grades aren't so good

Who attends the monthly STRIVE meetings?
Answer: STRIVE Students; Rotary STRIVE facilitators; Guest Speaker; High School Staff Liaison.

Where is the STRIVE logo from?

The logo was introduced during the 2001-02 STRIVE School Year. The design is by Jan Knape from the Rotary Club of Bowling Green.

Want to know more about this program?

If you would like to learn more about this program, please contact us at Strive Interest.