First Pat Lund Memorial Scholarship recipients announced
ROCHESTER, Minn. (KTTC) – The Reading Center Board of Directors announced the recipients of the inaugural Pat Lund Memorial Scholarship awards on Wednesday to Hannah Higgins and Ryan Jirik.
Pat Lund, who passed away in 2022, was a Reading Center alumnus and a thirty-year fixture in the southeastern Minnesota sports reporting field. During his time at KTTC, Pat mentored many journalists and helped them achieve their goals.
Despite being held back in 1st grade and struggling through high school and college, Pat persevered and worked in his dream career as a sports reporter. Pat didn’t let his dyslexia stop him from achieving his goals.
The Lund family, in partnership with The Reading Center, has created an annual scholarship in his honor to help dyslexic students reach their post-secondary education goals.
The awards will be presented on Wednesday, May 31 at 6 p.m. by Judge Kevin Lund at The Reading Center Board of Directors Meeting.
Originally from Byron, Hannah Higgins will enter her senior year this fall at University of Wisconsin- Stevens Point where she is studying Wildlife Education.
Growing up, Higgins cared for many pets and ended her high school career as an intern with Oxbow Park and Hollman Zoo, according to The Reading Center. Following her completion of college, Hannah plans to work in the national resources area.
In 3rd grade Hannah began tutoring with The Reading Center which she describes as a “turning point in my life”. She spent 4 years participating in The Reading Center’s classes and 1:1 tutoring. She says having dyslexia has taught her to “never give up no matter what or how big a challenge seemed,” and that having a learning disability “makes me who I am.”
Ryan Jirik is soon to be graduate of John Marshall High School in Rochester. The Reading Center says he will begin studies in Physical Education and Health at North Dakota State University this fall.
“Having ADHD has taught me that my mental health is directly influenced by my level of physical health and physical activity. Getting out and getting moving is not only good for my body, it is also good for my brain.”
Jirik was involved in The Reading Center’s programming for 7 years. As an Eagle Scout, The Reading Center was the benefactor of his skills when he planned, fundraised and built their 8ft. x 10ft. yard shed to store The Reading Center’s outdoor equipment.
This opportunity is annually open to The Reading Center alumni up to age 30 who are currently enrolled or have confirmed plans to continue their education through a university, technical school or other training program.
Scholarship awards are for up to $1,000 per year, will be paid directly to the school and are renewable for up to four years if studies are continued.
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