I have not written anything for a while, primarily because Joan and I have been doing quite a bit of traveling. I have written quite a number of pieces with the theme "Reflections on 50 years" as this year we have been celebrating both 50 years of marriage and 50 years in Forest City. Up to this point my primary focus has been on the 1970s. I will return to that topic and pick up at least initially with thoughts on my 38 years at Winnebago Industries.
But for now I want to take a time out and talk about the work of the Forest City Education Foundation.
I am going to be candid and tell you I would like to see broader support of our work from the community. The work we are doing is vitally important for what I have often referred to as our most valuable asset, our young people.
Rather than making a case for our work, I want to share with you the stories of three of our recent graduates. Their stories make a more convincing case for the value of our work than I ever could.
Here is our second graduate story -
Logan Hall is a 2016 graduate of Forest City High School (where he participated in and excelled at virtually everything).
He will graduate from Iowa State University next year with a degree in mechanical engineering.
Upon high school graduation, the Forest City Education Foundation awarded Logan the Bill C. Fox Scholarship which pays half of his tuition for the first three years of college and all of it his senior year.
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This scholarship was funded by the late Bill C. Fox, a 1940 Forest City graduate, who went on to get an electrical engineering degree at Iowa State and then to founded a very successful company in the Minneapolis area.
Bill grew up very poor and credited a couple of his Forest City teachers with encouraging him to go to Iowa State.
He wanted to help other Forest City graduates have that same opportunity.
Logan has been an exceptional student at Iowa State. In his sophomore year, he did an eight month co-op with the Specialty Vehicle Division of Winnebago Industries and has been working for them ever since (remotely and during breaks).
He proudly shared with me some of the vehicles and projects he has worked on. Logan is actively involved with SALT, where he is a student leader leader and plays the guitar in the worship band. He is also in the student aviation club and hopes to eventually get his private pilots license.
He said, "The efforts of the foundation make a huge difference and I (along with my friends and peers from high school) really appreciate it and hope to give back later down the road when we can."
Next week, I will share Vanessa Van Slyke’s story.