Public invited to take part in MAPS Great Speaker Event

Youth speaker Cam Awesome to present at Merrill High School on April 11

The Merrill Area Public Schools (MAPS) will welcome popular youth speaker, Cam Awesome, to the Merrill High School Fieldhouse on Thursday, April 11, 2024, at 1:30 p.m. Local community members are invited to attend.
Speaker Cam Awesome struggled academically and socially growing up; after years of anxiety and bullying, he joined a boxing gym to learn how to protect himself. In 2008, he won the National Championship and became the #1 Super Heavyweight boxer in the nation. Today he travels the country to share what boxing taught him: mental toughness, gratitude, cultural awareness, and how to develop a championship mindset.
“We are pleased to welcome Cam as this year’s Great Speaker Forum presenter,” said Shannon Murray, Superintendent of MAPS. “We encourage members of the community to attend and witness the value our outstanding guest speakers bring to our students.”
Since 1978, the Merrill Great Speaker Forum has attracted numerous engaging speakers to the school district, focusing on subjects like self-esteem, self-worth, dignity of person, pride in self, goals and achievement, patriotism, and coping with societal problems like drug abuse and teen pregnancy. The series is completely funded by donations from throughout the Merrill business community, with individual contributions ranging from $25 to $1,500.
The following donors helped to pay for this year’s speaker: Prairie River Properties, LLC, $500; CoVantage Credit Union, $500; Merrill Lions Club, $300; Reindl Printing, $100; Rose Skic, $100; St. John’s Lutheran School, $100; Eagles Aerie 584, $100; Schmitt Manecke Donner VFW Auxiliary 1638, $50; Brad & Tammy Woller, $25; Gleason Area Lions Club, $25; and, Hugo’s Pizza Shop, Inc., $25.
“We continue to appreciate the support the Great Speaker Forum has received from local businesses and members of the community,” said Murray, “Our partnership with the community is vital, and we thank you for supporting our students!”
The Great Speaker Forum Committee consists of community members, school district personnel, and students. This year, the following students participated on the committee: Aaron Collinsworth, Corbin Hanson, Brooklyn Harding, Orion Hill, Brooke Rudie, Josie Geiss, and Maya Paulus. The students researched potential speakers and ultimately made the decision based on the relevancy of the message the speaker brings to the students. Students serve on the committee beginning in sixth grade and remain active through their senior year. Along with staff members Trisha Detert, Cassie Schultz, Kasie Holt, Trina Knospe, Shannon Murray, and Tammy Woller, community members serving on the Committee are Renea Frederick, Clyde Nelson, Mike Ravn, Lynne Reindl, Sarah Sturm, and Jay Tlusty.

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