He submits essay, garners the most Facebook votes

    Considering that he's planning to study bio-medical engineering at the University of Wisconsin in Madison with an eye on a potential career in nanotechnology, it's a safe bet that Crookston High School senior Isaac Loegering has a lot of hard work and probably some stress waiting for him along his life's path.

    Well, Loegering had to work pretty hard and things got a little stressful, too, as he neared the finish line earlier this month in a competition with other deserving high school juniors and seniors from throughout the region to see who would be awarded a $5,000 Chevy Scholarship.

    Loegering and the other students either nominated themselves or were nominated by someone to be included in the Chevy Scholarship Program, created in this region by 20 Chevrolet dealers that make up the Certified Heartland Chevy Dealers. Loegering's home dealership was Brost Chevrolet in Crookston.

    The students each submitted an essay detailing why they think they should prevail, and then the competition was on, with the winner of the $5,000 to be determined by the number of votes each student received via the social networking website, Facebook. Loegering surged to the top spot early on in the competition and remained there, but then things got dicey.

    "I had a decent lead but the second place student was really closing in," Isaac said at Brost Chevrolet on Friday, where David Brost presented him with a $5,000 check. So, with a couple days to go before the deadline, he put out a call through the local media, encouraging his supporters to provide him the last-minute push to hold off the second-place challenger. It worked, and Loegering won the $5,000, while the nine other students vying for the top prize each received $500.

    Loegering's competitors were located in cities including Cavalier, Grand Forks, Fargo, Moorhead, Bemidji, Perham, Warroad and Jamestown, and were represented by Chevrolet dealerships in their towns.

    "I just want to thank everyone who supported me," Isaac said. "I got a little nervous there at the end, but everyone really came through for me."

Isaac's essay
    Here is the essay Isaac wrote as part of the competition:

    “President Teddy Roosevelt once said, “Far and away the best prize that life has to offer is the chance to work hard at work worth doing.” Though I first stumbled upon this quote many years ago while searching for inspiration in my swimming career, I’ve adopted President Roosevelt’s words as a sort of mantra. I’ve always striven to reach my fullest potential athletically, musically, and academically. 

    “Reflecting on my swimming career these past twelve years, it baffles me how far I’ve come. I still remember my first week of practice. As a pudgy asthmatic who swam like an active drowning victim, I couldn’t swim one length of the pool. Since my days of sinking like a rock at the start of every race and flapping my chicken arms at every wall to initiate a flip turn, I’ve taken the State title in the 50 freestyle as a freshman and competed in the YMCA National Championships since eighth grade. As a fourteen-year-old, I knocked Michael Phelps off the Boys 13-14 All-Time Top 100 list in the 50 freestyle. I’ve had much success throughout my swimming career; however, it has not been without obstacles. These past three years, I’ve hit a plateau, my times remaining stagnant. Despite much discouragement, I’ve kept a positive attitude and an optimistic outlook, which seems to be paying off this season. 

    “Music has played an integral role in my life since I began playing piano in first grade. I play alto saxophone and am drum major in my school’s band. I also play viola. I’ve participated in various contests for all instruments, receiving highest honors for nearly every performance. Perhaps my proudest accomplishment is receiving Superior ratings three years in a row for piano concerto contest, in which I memorized and performed about ten pages of music for each concerto.

    “I’ve always sought to challenge myself academically, taking on the most rigorous course load to prepare for college. In seventh grade, I completed pre-algebra, putting me two years ahead in math. Come junior year, I took AP Calculus and scored a 5 on the AP test. As a senior, I’m taking three other AP courses and a College in the High School course. In addition to the rigorous course load I’ve adopted, I’ve managed to maintain a 4.0 GPA and was inducted into the National Honor Society last year. I’ve also participated in a number of other extracurricular activities throughout my high school career, including Knowledge Bowl and Boy Scouts. Last year, as team captain and spokesperson for Knowledge Bowl, I led our team to an eighth place finish at State. In 2010, I attained the rank of Eagle Scout upon completion of my Eagle Scout Service Project, which benefited a local therapy farm. Looking ahead to next year, I am excited to pursue a degree in biomedical engineering. I’m still waiting on a decision from Yale University; however, I feel I have a lot to offer with a variety of talents and a 34 ACT score.”