Success Stories

The sky is the limit

An interview with alum Christian Belz

How long were you at Groves Academy and what were a few key things you learned?

I attended Groves from lower school to middle school (2005–2011). I learned so much. Before Groves, I couldn’t read, write well or do any type of math. Across the board, I needed all kinds of help.

What did you do after Groves?

I attended Minnetonka High School. I worked hard to be able to attend a public high school. I joined the choir and cross country during my freshman year. I also had tutors throughout high school. I graduated from Concordia College Moorhead this past May and I’m currently working in direct sales.

How did your time at Groves prepare you for your next steps?

My time at Groves taught me to advocate for myself. I wouldn’t have made it without Groves. I know I have dyslexia and I am going to have to work hard. Even while studying abroad in Norway last summer, I had to use the advocacy Groves taught me in order to successfully pass my course.

“Each Groves teacher believed in us which gave me a foundation for everything, and a belief that I was capable of doing more.”
-Christian Belz

What are some of your favorite memories of Groves?

There are so many but a few: the rock star teachers, Middle School Barter Market, running around outside and playing tag with my friends. I also loved going on the biking field trips and skiing/snowboarding at Buck Hill! MEDIC was also one of my favorite after school activities.

Also, a famous artist who also had dyslexia, Mackenzie Thorpe, came to Groves and he inspired me to keep pursuing my passion. And most important was feeling like a normal kid since everyone else had learning disabilities, too.

Why do you think Groves is an important asset to the Twin Cities?

I don’t know another place like it. As a student with a learning disability, it is so great to get one-on-one help from educated and thoughtful teachers. Mrs. Mathistad knew that we were capable of producing good quality work and challenged us to do so. Each Groves teacher believed in us which gave me a foundation for everything, and a belief that I was capable of doing more. The teachers make it amazing including Mrs. Mathistad and also teachers that I had like Mrs. Brown, Mrs. Small, Mrs. Baillie, Mrs. Bowers, Mr. Holscher, Mrs. Quilling, Mrs. Myers, Mr. Shutte, Mrs. Melquist, Mrs. Geving, Mr. Alexander and gym teachers Mr. G and Mrs. Phillips. Groves Academy is a top-notch education. It gave me so much confidence. I wouldn’t be the person I am without Groves.

What would you tell a student who was new to Groves about the school?

If you work hard and let the teachers in to help you can do amazing things. The sky is the limit. Forget about what kind of disability you have and know you are capable of doing hard work. Be kind to yourself and take advantage of this opportunity to have an education at this great school.

Anything else you would like to share with the Groves community?

Groves changed my life forever. Groves made it possible for me to do all the things I love. I think having a positive attitude and being willing to learn was also a very important factor in my success at Groves and beyond!

Christian recently informed us that since we spoke to him for this interview, he has started a new position at Thomson Reuters. Well done, Christian!


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