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Rotary Club bringing hope to local students

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The Rotary Club is changing young lives here in Bowling Green by giving them hope and the chance to go to college.

School is out for summer, the halls are empty now, and graduates are planning for the future.

For students like Edgar Gonzalez, college may have not been an option, but nearly ten years ago Edgar was given an amazing opportunity that would change his life.

The Rotary Club adopted Edgar's class in the fifth grade.

"As a 5th grader I didn't know much about college. My parents didn't go to college. It was new to me and how big of a deal it was for me. Until I got into the junior high and we talked more about college. We had more meetings with our mentors and it finally clicked into me... college is a big thing." says Gonzalez.

The Rotary Club made the promise to 35 students in the class to pay for four years of college tuition and books. 

For Rotary Club members like Ron Raby, it was an opportunity he couldn't turn down.

"It's very difficult to pass up an opportunity to help someone else. Especially, when they are in the fifth grade and you know it's possible that you can get them to go to college." says Raby.

But there were some requirements. The students had to make good grades, stay out of trouble, and ultimately graduate high school. 

In the end, 12 students are now able to attend college because of the Bowling Green Noon Rotary Club. 

"It feels really good because without a mentor, it would be harder for me to keep going. Because honestly, school is stressful." adds Gonzalez.

On Sunday, Edgar walked across the stage and received his high school diploma from Bowling Green High School and he has big plans for the future.

"Edgar doesn't come off to start with as dynamic, but when you talk to him... he is. He's got some things going. He wants to be a doctor, I have got a strong feeling he'll make it and that makes me proud." adds Raby.

Edgar plans to attend Western in the fall and medical school after that. 

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