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Students of Character are recognized

One inspirational story after another was shared—along with some laughs and a few tears—at the 2023 Students of Character Celebration on April 19 at Madden’s on Gull Lake.

Forty-six juniors and seniors from high schools throughout the area—including Cass, Crow Wing, Morrison, Todd, and Wadena counties—were honored at a special event recognizing students for their quiet leadership, perseverance, and dedication to their community, school, and fellow students. Each honoree was selected by their respective school staff and presented with a $750 scholarship, made possible by business and community donations.

“This event continues to get better and better each year,” said Sourcewell Executive Director and CEO Dr. Chad Coauette. “These students and their stories absolutely blow my mind. You have a group of students defying the odds; some who never thought they’d see high school graduation. And they’re all up on stage being honored, recognized, and celebrated for their accomplishments.”


Stetson Guderjahn—Nominated by Brittani Oyster. Stetson moved from Montana to Bertha during his middle/early high school career. Moving to a new state as an older student is often a difficult transition, especially when you don’t know anyone. Stetson took on the challenge of making new friends and quickly became someone other students wanted to be around.

Alayna Barthel—Nominated by Karla Weishalla. Alayna is a quiet leader, has a talent for leading by example, and is approachable to everyone in the building and community. She is always willing to help, including with the food shelf and working with younger students as a teaching assistant. She looks out for the best interests of others and always has time to listen when others need help.


Mackenzie Uhlenkamp—Nominated by Patrick Sutlief. Mackenzie is involved in activities and athletics and is a positive, bright part of each of them. She can be counted on to go the extra mile and do so with a big smile. She is a great role model as an example of hard work and a positive presence. Mackenzie demonstrates high integrity and has an extraordinary work ethic.

Eric Fontanez—Nominated by Patrick Sutlief. Eric is a very hard worker, both in and out of school. When he first came to Browerville, his English skills were limited, but he worked hard to learn English and school subjects. Eric is a strong, positive force in the school. He is a tremendous role model for all students and a bright, friendly person every day.



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