Posted by Eric Garton on Jan 27, 2020
Welcome to the Elkhart Rotary Club Meeting on January 27, 2020; Today we welcomed Seth Maust, President and Executive Director of Five Star Life.

President Candy Yoder opened the meeting and introduced Aileac Deegan who shared positive words, led the Pledge, and Four-Way Test to start the meeting.

Welcome table volunteers were David Toney, Ashley Bowen, and Lisa Guedea-Correno, who also introduced today's guests including: Visiting Rotarians Ryan Koonz and Bob Decker from South Bend, Ty View from LaCrosse, WI, and Doug Grant from the Syracuse-Wawasee Rotary Club. Gursts of Rotarians were: Sally Wicks (Bill Burton) and Graham Salenger (Fran Conner); Gayla Konanz and Rob Zook from Five Star Life were guests of the club, along with today's speaker Seth Maust. Paul Warning introduced visiting students from Central High School: Jose Bravo, Ty Windy, and Naomi Mitchell. Welcome to ALL, we hope you can all join us again some other time!

Announcements and continuing club reminders for January 27:

  • Grant Committee Chair Peter Norton announced this spring's COMMUNITY GRANT APPLICATIONS are now available on our website and will be accepted through March 13. Please share this with not-for-profit leaders you know. This is what we raise funds through weekly fines for!
  • Meeting Reminders: 
    • Monday, February 3 at 11 a.m.: Committee Chair Meeting, at Matterhorn
    • An upcoming Caring Committee Meeting on Monday, March 16 (third Monday) at 11:15 at the Matterhorn before our Club Meeting.
  • CONTINUING REMINDER: A message from Doug Risser, if you are interested in a Rotary International and Peace Corps Partnership trip that will be occurring April 18-26, please contact Doug directly.
  • URGENT CONTINUING REMINDER: Dean Hupp announced a very generous offer to those who have not received their first Paul Harris Fellowship. In order to stimulate philanthropy, and in conjunction with the District's matching donation program THROUGH JANUARY, Dean has offered to sponsor up to 18 Elkhart Rotarians at $250 (which would be matched by $250 from the District), leaving the member with just $500 to match to attain their first PHF. SEE DEAN ASAP if you would like to take advantage of this generous offer.
  • URGENT CONTINUING REMINDER: Rotary District 6540 Matching Gifts Campaign continues through January 31, 2020 your personal donation of $100-$5,000 to the Annual Fund of The Rotary Foundation will be matched with FOUNDATION RECOGNITION POINTS. Your matching foundation recognition points can be used in several ways: 
    • For your own Paul Harris designation, at the first level or toward the next multiple. For example, your personal gift of $500 will be matched with 500 points for a total value of $1,000 to achieve designation as a Paul Harris Fellow.
    • To recognize another individual with a full Paul Harris Fellow designation or an initial contribution. For example, your $1000 check will be matched with 1,000 points to award Paul Harris Fellow designation to a relative, a community member, or another Rotarian. 
    • For multiple recognitions, any combination of points designations for yourself and/or other individuals, with a minimum of 100 points per designation. For example, your personal gift of $500 will earn 500 points. You can keep 200 points for yourself to attain the next level, and award 300 points to a deserving new member of your club to inspire future sustaining contributions to the foundation and a future Paul Harris Fellow designation. 
    • INSTRUCTIONS for the matching promotion:
      • Mail a personal check payable to "The Rotary Foundation" to District Rotary Foundation Chair, Judy Walker, including donor information and designating the beneficiary(ies) of the matching points if applicable. 
      • Mail to: Judy Walker, 8421 Manor Ave. #406, Munster, IN 46321
      • Questions? Voice or text 219-680-6557; email
      • Only those donations submitted per the above instructions will be matched
      • Club checks or online donations are not eligible for this offer
Today's Sergeant was Anthony Hunt, who reflected on the recent and sudden death of NBA star Kobe Bryant, along with his 13 year-old daughter and seven others. A little NBA trivia ensued, kudos to club members who were pretty sharp in answering and cheers to everyone who pitched in their $5 to help us raise some funds! Nice nice job of FUNdraising, everyone! Rotary fun fines are collected weekly and are pooled into a fund throughout the year. In the spring more than $10,000 is distributed as grants to not-for-profit organizations around our county. Thanks, All, for your contributions!

Today's speaker was introduced by Eric Garton who welcomed Seth Maust, President and Executive Director of Five Star Life.
Did you know?... every school day, 7,000 students drop out of school.
Five Star Life has a simple philosophy and solution to change the face of education. In order to truly move the needle, we must target the root of the educational crisis. At the core of every person’s success or failure is a mental and emotional operating system we call a mindset. Until public schools target and help students shift their mindsets, we will continue to fail! Students do not drop out of school, join gangs, and waste their lives because they do not have the capacity, but rather because no one has taught them how to think!
We accomplish this by providing schools with a variety of academic, leadership, and character programming that addresses the sources of negative mindsets. These programs include: our proprietary Video Curriculum for Classrooms, our afterschool program, as well as Leadership Camps and Day Trips at Summit.
All programming focuses on 5 key areas:
For the past twelve years, our curriculum has helped thousands of students shift their mindset, which has resulted in students going from chronic academic failure to honor roll. By partnering with schools throughout the country, we have helped as many as 80% of entire school populations raise their GPA or maintain a 3.0 or above. We have worked with schools that have decreased the number of discipline referrals by as much as 70%. Research shows that students who participate in Five Star Life see academic increases, better school attendance, and less behavioral issues.
A little history of Five Star Life and its co-founder Seth Maust:
Inspired to act by the alarming dropout rates, drug use, and gang involvement throughout schools in his community, Seth Maust co-founded Five Star Life, a not-for-profit organization (in Elkhart, Indiana) with a mission to change the face of education by changing the mindsets (or as Seth described: the "operating systems") of students. Five Star Life’s academic, character, mental health, and leadership programming focuses on reaching students from 5th-12th grade through afterschool programs, a proprietary Video Curriculum, and experiential learning opportunities at its 300-acre training facility in Union, Michigan. 
Five Star Life was started fifteen years ago with fifty students and a handful of dedicated volunteers. Although the dream started small, it has grown exponentially to reaching more than 10,000 students last year with nearly 600 volunteers. Seth has over twenty years of experience teaching and training students, educators, and volunteers.
Five Star Life’s curriculum is based on the five Core Values of respect, responsibility, integrity, sacrifice, and courage. By injecting these values into students’ lives through intentional mentoring and teaching, their mindsets change. As mindsets change, their grades begin to rise. As their grades continue to rise, their entire future opens up and the possibilities are endless. 
As President and Executive Director, Seth, along with the Five Star Life staff and a host of volunteers, is on a mission to help students throughout the country build the necessary mindsets to live a Five Star life!
Five Star Life is now growing substantially through the development of Five Star Life Video Curriculum. Classrooms across the nation are beginning to implement this program to develop students’ mindsets, academics, character, mental health, and leadership skills.
Thanks, Seth, for a very informative presentation about Five Star Life! If you'd like more information or interested in getting involved, visit their website.
About Rotary:
Rotary is a global network of 1.2 million neighbors, friends, community leaders, and problem-solvers who see a world where people unite and act to create lasting change – across the globe, in our local communities, and in ourselves. The Elkhart Rotary Club was founded in 1917 and serves its community through volunteerism, providing grants to not-for-profit organizations, sponsoring, and participating in service projects such as ringing bells for the Salvation Army, twice-yearly roadside trash collection, and are the originators and continuing supporters of Wellfield Botanic Gardens. Elkhart Rotary Club’s membership consists of approximately 150 dedicated individuals from various professional backgrounds and diverse interests. Membership in the Elkhart Rotary Club is by invitation. We welcome guests to attend any of our meetings and hear from our great lineup of weekly presenters.
For more information on the Elkhart Rotary Club, visit or email Like and follow us on Facebook at www.facebook/ElkhartRotaryClub to stay current on meetings, upcoming events or speakers, and initiatives in the community.
Upcoming Meetings and Programs:
Join us for our next meeting:
All meetings are at noon on Mondays at the Matterhorn Banquet and Conference Center, 2041 Cassopolis St. in Elkhart IN, 46514. In months that include a FIFTH Monday, the Elkhart Rotary Club holds an alternative meeting or activity.