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5.3.18 – STRIVE Award Banquet

Recognition of the 2017-2018 STRIVE students

May 3 @ 12:00 pm - 1:15 pm

Topic: "Intervention Coordinator" presented by Christian Verley

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Christian Verley, Head Football Coach/I.S.S. Coordinator, Ottawa Hills High School

Christian Verley believes in the redemptive and incarnational power of the finished work of the cross as it plays out in the real lives of people in community.  As Founder and Director of (YxM3) Young Men Moving Mountains, Head Football Coach at Ottawa Hills High School, and Intervention Coordinator for Grand Rapids Public Schools, Coach Verley, as he’s called, is a vision creator through the Business, Education and Healthcare industry. He works to connect the unlimited potential of youth with real opportunity by supporting positive growth and achievement through sports, internships, and work experiences.  Through his love for community, he inspires civic leaders and professionals to give back; and encourages young men to have hope, believe, and tangibly demonstrate a passion for life through hard-work, self-discipline, and team leadership.  A three-time MIAA conference football champion, MIAA and Trine record holder for blocked field goals, and NCAA Division 3 All-Region team, Coach Verley holds a Bachelors in Business from Trine University, and a Master’s in Business Administration with a Healthcare emphasis from Cornerstone University. He has been coaching for eight years. Four years as Defensive Coordinator and three as Head Coach. Lifetime man of faith.  One of his favorite scriptures comes from Ecclesiastes 9:10, “Whatever your hand finds to do, do it well with all of your might.”


S.T.R.I.V.EStudents Taking a Renewed Interest in the Value of Education

STRIVE is a motivational program targeting high school junior and senior students who want to improve their educational status and their life prospects.

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 Junior and Senior 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 and Grand Rapids Community College


  • Attitude – Student must maintain appropriate conduct and a positive attitude.
  • Altruism – students must participate in two of the three STRIVE Days.
  • Attendance – students need to maintain 90% attendance level (equals two excused absences).
  • Academics – Satisfy GPA requirements. The scholarship is paid out in levels, as follows:
    • Achieve greater than 10% improvement in GPA for year = $1,500*.
    • Achieve 0.01% – 9.99% improvement in GPA for year = $1,000.
    • Completion of all the 4 program components/goals & graduate senior year = $500.

*If a student’s GPA at the beginning of the year is 3.25-3.49 the student needs 5% improvement for $1,500 scholarship

*If a student’s GPA at the beginning of the year is 3.50 and above the student needs 2% improvement for $1,500 scholarship

How the Program Works:

High school administrators, and counselors select students they believe can succeed in the STRIVE program. A staff member is selected to help the STRIVE Chairs collect necessary, information about the student during the year. Students selected sign a contract to participate. Parents sign an agreement that they will help and encourage the student. Parents also agree to attend the Rotary Club of Grand Rapids awards luncheon held in May.  Rotary and community mentors host regular weekly meetings to increase student’s self-esteem, motivation and confidence.


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 choice.


May 3
12:00 pm - 1:15 pm
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