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Despite the coronavirus limiting many activities, Dunn County youth continue to do amazing things, and the Menomonie Optimist Club continues to honor those achievements through its Youth of the Month program. Three students from Colfax High School have earned this distinction.
Caden Erickson is one honoree from Colfax High School. Caden is a two-sport athlete in baseball and basketball. Only the COVID pandemic could keep him from lettering all four years in baseball, where he earned all-conference, MVP and Best Hitter awards.
Caden is also a leader at Colfax High School, serving as president of the National Honor Society, and vice president of both Student Council and his class. Caden has always loved and performed in both band and choir, winning numerous honors and taking lead roles in school plays.
Caden intends to further his education at Hamline University, where he plans to join the baseball team and pursue a biology major to foster his love of nature and wildlife.
Abigail Irwin is also an Optimist Youth of the Month honoree. As a strong student, Abigail has completed 11 Advanced Placement classes during her Colfax High School career, and will be the the class salutatorian this year. Abigail has been active with the volleyball and basketball teams, and spends time helping with youth programs in those two areas.
She has been a member of the Student Council, National Honor Society, and the Family, Career and Community Leaders of America student organization. Abigail has also regularly assisted the kindergarten class at Colfax School, which aligns with her interest in becoming an elementary education major at UW-LaCrosse next year, and ultimately an elementary teacher.
Drew Gibson is the latest honoree from Colfax High School. A three-sport athlete, Drew has earned seven varsity letters despite the virus restricting his junior season. As one measure of his leadership abilities, Drew has served as captain on the football, baseball, and basketball teams.
As an outstanding student academically, he also has served as president of the student council, the Future Business Leaders of America chapter, and the senior class. His musical ability has brought him state honors—he also shares his talent as a cantor at his church.
Drew will be attending UW-Eau Claire next year, seeking to become a teacher and coach, so he may share with other young people the benefits he has received at Colfax High School.
The Menomonie Optimist Club is meeting virtually during the pandemic, but continues to serve the youth of Dunn County through programs such as the Youth of the Month, Dictionary Program for all third graders in the county, and a scholarship program for the four school districts in Dunn County, and other youth-oriented activities.