Brooke was involved in the YES! program for 5 years while in 8th-12th grade at Royalton. Throughout the years she participated in YES!, Brooke worked on a variety of projects including constructing and racing an electric car at the Supermileage Competition, racing a solar-powered boat, constructing a solar-powered trailer to haul their electric car and solar powered boat to events, helping to construct an outdoor classroom, doing planting projects in their community, and working with Crane Meadows National Wildlife Refuge.
Brooke notes that “YES! was always helpful with giving us ideas and ways to startup our ideas. It helped me gain better communication, teamwork, and self-motivation skills. It also helped me be more responsible and have better time management. For example, with the help of our teacher and advisor, Marty Bratsch, we would sometimes come in at 5 or 6 in the morning before school or on weekends to finish our projects. It helped us stay focused, committed, and determined to finish our projects.”
Brooke is thankful for her participation in YES! and states, “YES! helped me gain insight on local and global problems and helped me become more aware of what I could do to help. Alongside with these skills I gained, I have better confidence that I can do whatever I put my mind to.”
Her favorite part of YES! was their group collaborating on finding issues that needed to be addressed in their school and community and finding solutions together. She notes, “Our group was made up of a diverse group of students from our school, but when we were together our ideas and projects somehow always mixed together and we were able to do things bigger than any of us had ever imagined.”
Brooke goes on to say, “The YES! Program is a wonderful tool to help find solutions to projects or problems locally or globally. We were able to travel to Italy my senior year (2017) and talk to schools and other organizations about what impacts we have made in our community and get ideas from them. Without the help of our supervisor and teacher, Marty Bratsch, we would not have been able to be as successful or got as far as we did. He helped us stay focused, gave us extra resources when needed, and always kept having fun the number one priority. Having committed and determined students is part of the group, but so is having a committed supervisor. Our YES! Club brought together the school, teachers, and community, giving us a connection that not many other communities can say they have.”
Thank you to Brooke for your hard work and dedication to the Royalton YES! Team and we wish you the best!
Major funding for the YES! program was provided by the Minnesota Environment and Natural Resources Trust Fund as recommended by the Legislative-Citizen Commission on Minnesota Resources (LCCMR).