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From Grease Monkey To Engineer

The dusty floors spotted with puddles of oil. The pungent odor of steering fluid and gas. The grease stains that seemed to appear anywhere and everywhere. The long afternoons and late nights lying under some monstrosity of equipment. These are the things that started me on my path.

I was seven years old when I started helping my dad in the shop. My job as his assistant included holding flashlights, retrieving tools, and answering the phone while he was stuck underneath a vehicle or on top of a baler. After years of observation and learning, Dad turned me loose to do more of the mechanicing and repairs on my own. Plus I was finally strong enough to loosen a bolt by myself. Each of these moments of retrieving tools and changing baler teeth nurtured my passion for equipment. I wanted to know more about the machines and their systems, and how they worked. This was the first step in creating my path.

The support and opportunities from the North Park community were monumental in preparing me for my journey. Being a small community, North Park allows its youth to be involved and dive into many organizations. I took full advantage of the opportunities provided me and as a result, I have grown as a young individual. FFA has grown my leadership skills and my public speaking. I’ve learned the importance of community and service through National Honor Society. 4-H has given me the skills to network and meet new people, and sports have taught me how to work as part of a team. All these skills will allow me to thrive while I embark on my journey. If it wasn’t for North Park and its unending support I wouldn’t have be able to experience the personal growth that I have. The kind of support and opportunities given to me can only be found in a small town, and I am blessed to have been raised in North Park.

My path leads to a degree in mechanical engineering from the South Dakota School of Mines and Technology in Rapid City. It also includes a job in agricultural equipment design and engineering that allows me to improve the equipment used to feed the world. My path has been paved by my years of being Dad’s grease monkey in the shop and developing a passion for the agriculture equipment and how it all functions. I have been prepared for my journey by the gracious support and endless opportunities found here in North Park.


They say cream rises to the top, such as the case with this classy cowgirl. I remember her first day of preschool when she was a shy, timid little girl. Her strength at that time was found in her adorable smile. That smile has guided her, built her confidence and broke barriers for her. I've seen that smile charm judges in the show ring and woo hearts. That smile is taking her places.

Cheyanne has been an absolute joy to watch grow up. Her competitors heart makes her fierce on the court or any competition she participates in. She is the strong, silent leader and is no longer so shy. She leads by example and has great pride in her work. This work ethic was instilled at a young age from her ranching lifestyle. It has carried over into her school life and been the asset that has driven this girl to achieve. She represents the Class of 2017 this Saturday as the Valedictorian. This accolade has come from years of hard work and focus. She's learned to give and take making her an incredibly well rounded individual.

Her childhood experiences here in North Park have prepared this young lady for great success and her beaming smile is sure to melt the hearts of all she meets. I wish her luck and am proud, yet again, of another North Park product of success. Cheyanne will do great things and I'm excited to see where her life takes her!

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