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Richard Franzen named 2016 Alumni Wall of Distinction honoree

May 26, 2016

Richard FranzenWe are proud to announce the 2016 Schalmont High School Alumni Wall of Distinction Honoree is 1987 graduate Richard Franzen.

The Schalmont High School Alumni Wall of Distinction was established during the district's 50th anniversary celebration in 2007 to honor alumni who have made significant contributions to their school, community and/or country. Honorees serve as role models for our students and as symbols of the high caliber of graduates produced by our district. Their examples are intended to inspire and motivate our students to excel, both in academics and in life.

“I consider this an honor and proud to represent our great home town and school. This represents the spirit of hard work, innovation and determination this region is known for,” Franzen said.

Richard and his wife Michelle and their family live in Johannesburg, South Africa, where they founded Impact Africa in 2003.

The organization has launched three Impact Kids preschools and community care centers and four baby rescue centers. Impact Kids Preschool began in the Kya Sands Squatter Camp in 2010. The program has expanded to educate more than 200 students daily at the three centers. Impact Baby Rescue provides centers that are registered places of safety and provide care for any who come for help.

Under Franzen’s leadership, the organization also works with squatter camps to provide after school care, HIV/AIDS education, job skills, English language lessons, parenting skills, crisis relief and more. It also offers year-long intern opportunities to young adults.

Franzen said his experience as being part of a team at Schalmont helped prepare him for success in his personal and professional life.

“Whether it was on the sports field, class projects, special events, the power of team and togetherness can change the world,” Franzen said. “Through great examples from school teachers and coaches, I saw how they could look beyond just the academics and invest in the real gifts and talents of an individual and help bring out the best in them as a person. This helped form a foundational practice for my life which has been paramount in helping me launch hundreds into fulfilling their potential.”

The induction ceremony and reception will take place at 4:30 p.m. on Tuesday, June 7 in the High School library. Mr. Franzen’s parents will accept the honor on his behalf, and Mr. Franzen will be joining us via a pre-recorded message.

Everyone is welcome to attend.