Trevor Stiede sets his sights literally on the future

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Kohl scholarship winner seeks to be optometrist
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Trevor Stiede has his eye on the future — quite literally.

The senior at Pulaski High School is one of almost 200 high school students in the state receiving a $10,000 scholarship from the Herb Kohl Educational Foundation this year, being recognized for his excellence in the classroom, out in the athletic arenas and around the community.

“Trevor is a high-character student and is a positive role model who continually leaves an inspiring mark on our school culture,” said Jeremy Pach, PHS principal. “Trevor does much to impress me, and I consider him to be the personification of what a high-quality student should be.”

Stiede currently has a 4.16 grade-point average and is a writer and editor for the Pulaski News. He mainly plays basketball but also is part of the school’s golf team. He has been a class officer for the school’s student council for three years.

“I just really like to help my school that way,” Stiede said.

Stiede is planning to attend Wisconsin Lutheran College in Milwaukee in the fall.

“For my future, I want to be an optometrist, and it has this three-plus-four program where I could go there for three years and get all my classes I need to get done, and I would get automatically accepted into the Illinois College of Optometry,” Stiede said.

In addition to his studies, Stiede will also be playing basketball for the college.

Stiede said a family friend had been his optometrist, and he was interested in pursuing a career in the field as he grew up.

“My brother actually thought about becoming an optometrist, but then he moved on to a different path,” Stiede said. “I just really like the field of study, talking to people all of the time and helping people.”

Stiede received the final confirmation last week, and he remembered reading the letter from the Kohl Foundation over and over to make sure he was reading it correctly.

“I was just so happy. I spent a lot of time working on the scholarship, working on writing it, asking people to revise my writing,” Stiede said. “I called my parents right away, and they were so happy for me.”

The affirmation was particularly reassuring for Stiede after he had received an email two months earlier telling him he had not advanced to the next round of consideration for the scholarship. The foundation had quickly followed up with an email saying the earlier message had been a mistake.

“That kind of made me confused,” Stiede said.

Getting a degree in optometry will require a lot of years in school for Stiede, and getting a $10,000 boost will help him to reach his goal sooner.

“It feels good to know that all the things I’ve worked for in the school and in the community have finally paid off,” Stiede said. “It really clarifies that I’m doing things right.”