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Shanley junior 'Pays it forward'

Shanley High School junior David Karaz is on his first "Pay It Forward" tour with Students Today Leaders Forever. And it's making STLF history.

Shanley High School junior David Karaz is on his first "Pay It Forward" tour with Students Today Leaders Forever. And it's making STLF history.

Karaz was one of about 150 Fargo area students that left Wednesday for the largest STLF tour since the service group started in 2003.

From the bus leaving Brookings, S.D., after volunteering at the local Boys and Girls Club, Karaz talked about the first stop of three on the five-day service trip.

He said he's looking forward to expanding his horizons outside North Dakota as well as surrounding himself with other service-oriented students.

Fargo area high school students on the trip represent Fargo South, Fargo North, Oak Grove, Shanley, Northern Cass and West Fargo.

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Together, the four Fargo buses are part of eight busses representing North Dakota schools, all going different routes to volunteer at organizations throughout the Midwest. They all will meet in Kansas City, Mo., to work on a food drive.

Organizer Greg Tehven, 24, the executive director of Minneapolis-based STLF said their trips have become popular by word-of-mouth.

"There is just a lot of energy in youth volunteering," he said.

Robert Asp hosts benefit for student

A pancake feed and silent auction for Robert Asp Elementary student Brynn Duncan will take place from 8 a.m. to noon Saturday at Robert Asp Elementary School.

Brynn was in a serious car accident in August. She's since undergone surgeries for internal and spinal injuries, which have left her paralyzed from the waist down. The funds raised would pay for medical and travel costs and help toward a wheelchair-accessible home.

Cost for the pancake feed is $5 per person at the door, with a $20 per family maximum. Children under 3 eat free. Dakota Medical Foundation Lend a Hand will match the first $5,000 in donations made at the pancake feed. Thrivent Financial will match $800.

For more information, contact Maret Kashmark at (218) 284-6312.

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A benefit account for the Duncans has been set up at Wells Fargo under its National Registry. Checks can be made out to "Benefit of Brynn Duncan" and dropped off or sent to any Wells Fargo branch.

Kazmierczak headed to leadership camp

Wayne Kazmierczak, assistant superintendent of Moorhead Area Public Schools, was named a policy fellow at the University of Minnesota's Hubert H. Humphrey Institute of Public Affairs. He landed one of 33 spots in this year's program, which prepares professionals from all sectors to take on leadership roles in public affairs.

The nine-month program includes workshops, seminars and leadership development activities. Policy fellows from across the state gain practical training in public affairs leadership.

Kazmierczak has served as the assistant superintendent of Moorhead Area Public Schools since January. Before joining the district, he was the superintendent of the Lakeview School District of Cottonwood and Wood Lake, Minn. He also has worked as a teacher and coach in the Minnetonka School District.

Readers can reach Forum reporters Kelly Smith at (701) 241-5515 and Mila Koumpilova at (701) 241-5524

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