CHS Alumni Make Impact In Students’ Lives

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Published on August 11, 2010 with No Comments

Their essays made all the difference.Proud Winners

Sarah Ling and Alec Turner, both of the Chesterton High School Class of 2010, won $500 scholarships from the CHS Alumni Association for essays on the topic of making a difference in someone else’s lives.

Michael Dyrek, president of the Alumni Association,  likes the topic because helping others is something he finds very valuable. There was also a requirement for financial aid for the scholarship.

Ling wrote about helping her grandmother as she battles cancer.  She brings her Dairy Queen, helps out around the house, and does what she feels she can to make her grandmother happy.

Turner also wrote about his grandmother, who has been losing her memory and eye sight.  He makes sure to spend plenty of time with her, whether it is just talking to her, doing household chores, or driving her where she needs to go.

Ling has already started at Ivy Technical Institute in Valparaiso, where she will be studying surgical technology.  Eventually, she would like to go into surgical nursing, after working for a few years and pursuing further education.

“I like watching all the shows and I’m interested in helping people,” Ling said.  “I like blood and guts.”

Turner will be attending Purdue University in West Lafayette this fall, where he will major in mechanical engineering.  He would like to specialize in nanotechnology and find a company to work for after graduating before starting his own company.

His inspiration comes from a favorite childhood toy.

“I spent hours a day, when I was 10, 11, 12, just building Legos, and that has gotten me interested in the field of mechanical engineering.  I like working with my hands and designing things,” Turner said.

Both students were very active in their extracurricular activities during their four years at Chesterton High School.

Turner participated in Speech and Debate for four years, played violin in the orchestra for four years and the pit orchestra for two years.  He also participated in the Quiz Bowl his senior year, an interdisciplinary academic competition that also included knowledge of current events.

Ling also expressed a love for music in high school by playing the flute for four years in the marching band.  She was in the symphonic band her freshman year.  Ling was also in the wind ensemble and the pep band for three years.   For two years, she participated in varsity bowling.

Dyrek was happy to be able to give two scholarships this year to two deserving students.  Last year, the Association gave one $755 scholarship to a Chesterton senior.

To raise money for the scholarship, Dyrek organized the second annual All-Class Chesterton High School Class Reunion for all CHS graduates 21 and over.  With the help of Facebook and a dedicated staff, Dyrek had 385 people, both community and alumni, visit Leroy’s Hot Stuff on July 10 for a night of food, raffles and live music.  Gifts were given by many local businesses.  The money left over after expenses was all used for the scholarships for Ling and Turner.

Next year, Dyrek is hoping to have the group incorporated in order to receive grants to help the group have a bigger event.  He would like to get more local businesses involved as well, and have the event at a larger venue.                 Eventually, Dyrek is hoping to expand the event to include other high schools in the area too, such as Portage and Valparaiso.  He would also like to get some colleges involved for scholarships to students throughout the northwest Indiana community, and not just Chesterton.  Dyrek knows that he has started a good thing, and is hoping to make it big and get many people involved.

“We’re small, but we like to get it going,” Dyrek said.

For more information about the Chesterton High School Alumni Group, or to find out how to become involved with the group and the events, call Dyrek  at 508-0624.

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