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4.25.19 – STRIVE Banquet featuring Dr. Ron Gorman and Jessica Austin

April 25 @ 12:00 pm - 1:15 pm

Topic: Presentation of the STRIVE Students and Program

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Today’s guest speakers are Dr. Ron Gorman, Assistant Superintendent, Pre-K-12 Instructional Support, Grand Rapids Public Schools  and Jessica Austin, Health and Training Officer, Consumers Energy and former STRIVE Mentor. Please read their bios below.

What is S.T.R.I.V.E.?

STRIVE is a motivational mentoring program working with high school junior and senior students who want to improve their educational status and expand their networks.

The mission of the STRIVE Program is to mentor high school students to achieve academic success, graduate from high school and continue their education in college, university, trade, technical or career school.

In pursuit of this mission, the STRIVE program provides positive role models for students to promote self discovery, the importance of High School Graduation, development of good values, development of life skills, and individual responsibility in STRIVING for excellence in life.

STRIVE is a partnership among students trying to make a difference in their lives, parents who are willing to support and encourage their students, high school administrators, faculty and counselors, Rotary Club of Grand Rapids, & Rotary Club of Grand Rapids Charities Foundation.

Program Requirements

  •  Attitude – Student must maintain appropriate conduct and a positive
  • Altruism – Students must participate in two of the three STRIVE (volunteer)
  • Attendance – Students need to maintain 90% attendance level (equals two excused absences).
  • Academics – Satisfy GPA requirements


Upon successful completion of the STRIVE requirements, the student will be entitled to the following:

  • Award Certificate – presented to the student at the May awards luncheon
  • Summer Work Premium – At the end of summer of $1.50 per hour worked is paid to the student upon verification of employment, up to a maximum $750.
  • Scholarship – A scholarship of up to $3,000** can be earned and will be disbursed over 2 semesters to a college, university, trade, technical or career school of the student’s

Dr. Ronald Gorman is the Assistant Superintendent of Pre-K-12 Instructional Support. For almost two decades, he has served the Grand Rapids Public Schools as an elementary teacher, a secondary teacher, a high school assistant principal, a high school athletic director, a K-8 principal, a high school principal, and the Executive Director of Secondary Schools.

Dr. Gorman holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from Aquinas College, a Master of Educational Leadership degree from Michigan State University, and a Doctor of Philosophy in Educational Leadership degree from Western Michigan University. Dr. Gorman holds Michigan Educator Certifications in English, Reading, Elementary Education, and Pre-K-12 Administration. In addition to his educational accomplishments, Dr. Gorman proudly served eight years in the United States Army Reserves.

In support of Superintendent Weatherall Neal’s Transformation Plan, Dr. Gorman collaborates with principals, teachers, parents, and students to plan and facilitate research-based professional development opportunities that support quality instruction, school climate and culture, instructional leadership, assessment literacy, and high levels of student-achievement.


Jessica M. Austin graduated from Ottawa Hills High School in 2007. She earned her Bachelor Of Science in Occupational Safety and Health Management in 2013 from Grand Valley State University. Shortly after graduating, she started her career at Steelcase as a Safety Engineer. She joined Van Andel Research Institute as an Environmental Health and Safety Specialist in 2014. Jessica worked at VARI for three years. She was given the opportunity to lead training efforts as a Health and Safety Trainer for Consumers Energy in the fall of 2018. Additionally she is growing her entrepreneurial business: Creative Carvings, Inc.



April 25
12:00 pm - 1:15 pm
Event Category:


University Club of Grand Rapids
111 Lyon St NW Suite 1025
Grand Rapids, MI 49503 United States
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