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5.11.17 – STRIVE Luncheon – Keynote Speaker John Salan
May 11, 2017 @ 12:00 pm - 1:15 pm
We take this time to honor the Junior and Senior students from Ottawa Hills and Union High Schools that have participated in our STRIVE Student Mentoring/Scholarship Program.
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.
We will also hear a short presentation from our own John Salan as he tells some of the history of STRIVE.
John F. Salan, District 6290 Governor (service year: 2009—2010)
A second generation Rotarian and a Paul Harris Fellow, John’s involvement in Rotary dates to 1958 when he was a Junior Rotarian with the Plymouth Rotary Club. He joined the Petoskey Rotary Club in 1975 and served as its president in 1986-87. While an active member in Petoskey, working every fundraiser from the annual summer bratwurst sales through too many spaghetti dinners to count, John became involved in the District 6290 and Central States Rotary Youth Exchange program. His eldest daughter spent a year abroad as a Rotary Youth Exchange Student in Finland and his second daughter then spent a year in New Zealand through the program. His dedication to Youth Exchange continues to this day through his service on District 6290’s Youth Exchange Committee as Vice-Chair and Youth Protection Officer.
John continued to focus on Rotary’s commitment to mentoring youth as a member of the Grand Rapids Rotary Club since 1990 and served as that club’s president in 1995-96. He was among the early advocates for the STRIVE program for at-risk secondary students and was the chairman of the District 6290 STRIVE committee for two years. He also advocated for expanding involvement of the younger generation in philanthropic activities through the INTERACT program. Other recent community activities included serving on the Salvation Army Advisory Board, coaching a Special Olympics softball team, and coaching an eighth grade basketball team.
Married to his college sweetheart, Helen, John is the father of three adult daughters and has one granddaughter. Helen is the executive director of Healing the Children-Michigan/Ohio, a charity dedicated to coordinating medical care for children in need around the world. Together, John and Helen are active in their parish community in Grand Rapids.
John graduated from Eastern Michigan University where he played varsity baseball after graduating from Plymouth High School as a three-year, three-sport varsity letterman. He earned his law degree from Wayne State University. Early in his career as a public prosecutor, John served as the chief trial attorney for the Washtenaw County Prosecutor’s office in Ann Arbor. From 1974-1989, he was the Emmet County Prosecuting Attorney, a position to which he was re-elected by an overwhelming majority three times. During this time, he was a tireless advocate on behalf of children and an in-demand speaker on topical issues. While a prosecuting attorney, John served for over twenty years on the board of directors of the Prosecuting Attorneys Association of Michigan including a term as that organization’s president. In 1989, he became a federal prosecutor with the United States Department of Justice assigned to the Western District of Michigan in Grand Rapids. He retired from this position in 2013 and now devotes his time to volunteer activities.