Rose Carpenter graduated from Greenway High School in 2019, and is in her third year as a Communications major at the College of St. Scholastica where she serves as Student Trustee on the Board of Trustees at the College and is the Enrollment Management Intern. She is a first-generation college student, and recipient of a Blandin Foundation scholarship.
As a 2019 graduate of Greenway High School, I am thankful for the continued support from my local community in my college achievements and endeavors. The greater Grand Rapids community is filled with support for its people–a community of strength with relationships of connections and roots.
Now as a student at The College of St. Scholastica and following its Benedictine values, one of which is community, I continue to emphasize the significance of community and how I was immersed in it, around me, from the beginning of my experience at Greenway High School. For me, the Raider community is the Raider family. As sporting events open again, the sea of green I see in the crowd reassures me that the Raider family is alive and well, and just as full of Raider pride as ever. I spent my senior year of high school at the Minnesota State Hockey Tournaments cheering on the GHS hockey team. I remember the enormous sea of green I saw there. I was recently at a University of Minnesota Duluth hockey game where the Greenway Mini-Mites faced each other for a game between periods. I saw spots of green in the crowd and people I am grateful to say I have in this Raider family. I felt the sense of home with these close bonds.
My former high school educators continue to welcome me with open arms back into the classrooms as I am able. These simple moments of warmth and openness makes this incredibly unique. Even through the challenges that 2021 brought upon everyone, it is our community that goes out of our way to show compassion and support even through these difficult times–that is what makes me thankful.
As I reflect upon 2021 and the triumphs and tragedies each one of us faced, it was through these triumphs and tragedies that brought the Itasca community together, and the Raider family from near and far, current students and former students, to check in on one another and show compassion.
The determination of the community brings me courage and hope for the future. This year has brought continuous change and adaptation, but the way people reacted and evolved with it gives me hope for the future. With financial support, lending a hand, and true human connection and care, our community did it all for each other. From local business owners and educators, to health care professionals, the strategies and messages they used through these changes related to the COVID-19 pandemic allow me to believe that the community I call home is one community that can face the challenges to come, through connectivity, togetherness, and innovation.