When talent and hard work are put together, the only outcome that can result is success, Mingus Union High School Strive for .5 award winners heard from the guest speaker.
During the Sept. 26 assembly, which honored more than 300 students for raising their grade point average by 0.5 in one semester, Mingus agriculture teacher and Future Farmers of America advisor, Heather Mulcaire, spoke. She shared some of her life at Mingus, and gave the students a bit of advice and something to think about.
“I you don’t know your talent, search for it. If you already know your talent, work on it. Rely on what you are good at and capitalize on it,” Mulcaire told the crowd of students, parents and community members who nearly filled the auditorium.
Strive for .5 began in 1987 at Mingus and has recognized thousands of students. This is the program’s 20th year. It is designed to recognize all students for their academic achievement, at all levels.
Strive for .5 is sponsored by the Cottonwood Journal Extra and the Yavapai-Apache Nation. Students received congratulations from school administration and board
members as well as applause and shouts from their peers, along with a commemorative T-shirt. This year’s artwork was designed by Lauren McFarlin.
Mulcaire also said that talent is not enough. A person must build and cultivate a strong work ethic.
“You will not be great if you do not work at it,” she said.
Mulcaire admitted she was an average student and spent many extra hours with Diane Uidenich getting help in math. Academics was not her strong suit, and she realized she was going to have to work a little harder to get good grades, she said.
“A strong work ethic, dedication and practice were necessary for me to achieve,” Mulcaire said.
Mulcaire is a 1996 Mingus graduate. She returned to Mingus in 2000 to teach.
“I remember sitting in these seats several years ago and was so proud to receive my Strive
for .5 and T-shirt. Congratulations to all of you for making it to these seats,” Mulcaire said.
While in her early years at Mingus, Mulcaire searched for what she was a natural at and found it to be agriculture. She was good at agriculture — the classes and the activities. It was easy for her, she said.
In fact, Mulcaire won several FFA awards, which spurred her on to become an agriculture teacher. She was Mingus’ first student to win the FFA American Degree.
“What are you naturally good at? When you find it, run with it,” Mulcaire said.
Two Mingus seniors were among the recipients. They were receiving the honor for the third time: Luis Ruiz and Miriam Tarazon.
For more information, call 634-7531.