Cogwheel Archive

Rotary Cogwheel | 09.26.2013

September 26, 2013

Birthdays: Jack Hoschouer (9/22); Don Robertson (9/25); Jim Blaha, Hugh Caste and Gerhard Meidt (9/27); and Laurie Williams (9/28)

Next Week: Daniel Sellers and Nick Banovertz of MinnCAN, the “Road to Success” bus tour.

Condolences: Jennifer Koenig, wife of David Koenig, died Friday, Sept. 20. There will be a visitation on campus tomorrow (Friday) 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. in the Black and Gold Room at Buntrock Commons. Her funeral will be Saturday, 10:30 a.m. in Boe Chapel. Our thoughts and prayers go out to David and their two children.

Last Week:

TORCH (Tackling Obstacles Reaching College Hopes) is a home-grown Northfield success story.

Now in its eighth year, TORCH has dramatically improved the high school graduation rate — from 36 percent to 97 percent — for Latino students and set them on a path toward post-secondary education and more vocational opportunities.

Marnie Thompson, assistant principal at Northfield High School, said the program is built around the principles of academic support, college and career exploration and family engagement. It has expanded over time to serve students in grades sixth through 12 who are either minorities, low income students or potentially the first member of their family to pursue education beyond high school. A new $126,345 “College Ready” grant from Great Lakes Higher Education Guaranty Corporation has substantially expanded the program’s budget and increased its reach to 455 students.

There are many success stories. Marnie shared several examples of students who struggled in high school, but now, with the help of TORCH, are doing well in college

Kim Horner, one of two TORCH coordinators, said they want to expand the career readiness aspect of the program. They want to help students develop work-ready social skills and learn to network. They also want to develop a more robust intern program.

Teddy Gelderman, the other coordinator, talked about the expansion of the Individual Development Accounts program. If a student saves $1,000 over time for post-high school education, it will be matched three to one. It not only helps build an educational nest egg, but it helps students develop the discipline of savings. Rotary contributed to this program last year when it was in its pilot phase.

Beth Berry, who until this year served as TORCH coordinator, is now helping other school district replicate the program. She has been working with Faribault and St. Paul Humboldt, Marnie said.

For more information on TORCH, go to:

Guests: Our exchange students Yoshino Tokigawa from Japan, Gunho Park from South Korea, Rodolfo Ramirez from Chile, and Lucas Coelho from Brasil (Prichard); Kim Jordan and Teddy Gelderman (Amerman); Fred and Terry Bursch (Estenson)

Scholarship Enhancement: Robert Craig


— Charlie Cogan invited members to host international students from Carleton during the school year. We have been introduced to St. Olaf’s program, but Charlie said there is a need at Carleton as well.

— Jean Wakely is looking for a couple of volunteers who would be willing to help the Hospitality Committee with media setup for guest their presentations. Let her know if you can do this.

— Rich Lorang, correspondent for Frank Meyer, one of our outbound exchange students, reported that he is doing well in Thailand. He’s found himself teaching English at his high school, which has not helped him learn the native language. He hopes to be taking classes as a student soon.

Coming Up:

Oct. 10 — Alan Anderson, Ocean Acidification (Caskey)
Oct. 17 — Steve Underdahl, President and CEO of Northfield Hospital & Clinics (Reese)
Oct. 24 — Jon Snodgrass, classification (Rich)
Oct. 31 — Theresa Tillson, classification (Nemo)