Thanks to Michael Zelinski for providing this blog post!
I am a 2017 recipient of a Lutzie 43 Prepared For Life Character Scholarship. I learned about the 43 Lessons to Legacy curriculum while in my Junior year. I was the only student in my small private school to apply.
Like many teens, I’m always busy. I play football and lacrosse, I’m a member of the National Honor Society and I work part time. Still, I knew that it was important for me to make the time to complete the curriculum, and I found a mentor in my Assistant Football Coach and teacher, Mr. Ian Chrzanowski. Going through the curriculum together helped strengthen our relationship on and off the field. Our open dialogue helped me learn more about myself and others, and how important it is to live a life built on strong character development.
I was honored to receive one of the five scholarships awarded in the program’s inaugural year; everyone was so proud! That May, as a rising Senior, I was busy making summer plans. My days would be spent working, volunteering, playing travel lacrosse and attending football practices. In mid-August, I hit a few bumps in what I thought would be a smooth road ahead.
Two separate hand injuries sidelined me for parts of my football season. Luckily, I avoided surgery, but I played the second half of the season with a padded cast. Unfortunately, a concussion at the end of the season proved to be an injury that was the hardest to recover from. It took almost five months of therapy and a slow return to playing sports with my physical therapist to get me back on track. I knew I would miss the beginning of my lacrosse season and could have easily felt defeated because I had to keep jumping these hurdles all year, but I kept going.
I found a quote by James Lane Allen, that put it all in perspective: “Adversity does not build character; it reveals it.” Without a strong foundation of character, we do not have what it takes to cope, overcome and succeed.
I circled back to the 43 Lessons to Legacy curriculum. Lesson 4; Strength, Lesson 26; Perseverance, and Lesson 30; Steadfast are just a few of many that helped me through my hard time.
Now, with hard work and the support of others, I am back on the lacrosse field. It’s great to be on the field again with my teammates as I finish my Senior year.
This fall, I will attend Neumann University to play Division III lacrosse while pursuing a degree in Health Sciences.
I am so grateful for the experience and proud to be associated with the Lutzie 43 Foundation and all that has been achieved in honor of Philip. The Lutzie 43 Foundation does great work spreading the message that a strong character is the foundation on which we need to build our lives. Every school across the country should use the curriculum to impact students the way it impacted me.
Thank you, Mr. Lutzenkirchen and family, for everything you do. My family and I wish you continued success!