Recent Central DeWitt graduate Rachel Green has a positive outlook; she views leaving for college as her next, great adventure.

The 18-year-old daughter of Don and Ann Green of DeWitt will attend Wartburg College in Waverly. There, she will double major in multi-media journalism and public relations and minor in leadership.

Not only does the school have what she’s looking for in terms of areas of study, but — happily — it also reminds her of her hometown.

“The people at Wartburg and in Waverly that I’ve talked to remind me a lot of people in DeWitt,” Green said with a smile. “The hospitality they’ve shown me reminds me of the people here. I’ve loved being in DeWitt, but it’s time for me to move on to the next step in my life.”

Setting off on her own is something Green feels well-equipped to do. She said that is thanks to people in her life whose positive and productive influence have guided and inspired her throughout her childhood.

That support and encouragement helped a once-timid little girl grow into a self-assured, sociable young woman who hopes to be a good role model for others.

Green’s teachers and leaders in the community believe setting an exemplary example is something she already has achieved.

Green, who graduated in May with a 4.0 grade point average, was actively involved in both band and speech contest.

She was a member of the marching, concert and jazz bands, and twice was an all-state band selection. Green also was a featured soloist her senior year in marching band. 

In speech, she advanced to the state competition all four years of high school. Green also was a member of the speech officer team for three years and served as president.

Her junior and senior years, Green made it all the way to the all-state level in two different individual speech events.

She also was a member of the student council, the staff of the high school’s literary magazine “The Scribbler,” helped run lights and sound during various productions at the Central DeWitt Performing Arts Center, and was a student representative on the performing art center’s board of directors.

Green was also a student representative on the Camanche-DeWitt Coalition as well.

DeWitt Mayor Don Thiltgen also serves on the coalition, which works to reduce unhealthy use and abuse of substances and related issues by youth and, over time, adults in Camanche, DeWitt, and surrounding areas.

This year, Thiltgen nominated Green for the Iowa Character Awards — specifically, the “Citizen of Character (Youth) Award.” 

Green received honorable mention for the accolade, which recognizes Iowans who show trustworthiness, respect, responsibility, fairness, caring, and good citizenship.

Being a part of so many different activities allowed Green to find out what her interests were, and to break out of her shell.

“It connected me with a lot of people,” she related. “And it provided me with a lot of amazing mentors who helped me gain skills when I was an upper classman. Mostly, it helped me come out of my box. As a little kid, I was so shy. Now, I can go in front of a room full of people and just talk off the cuff, which is a great skill to have.”

Green credits her big brother, Jonathan, for setting a good example and motivating her to take an interest in the activities in which he was involved.

But main person who taught Green to truly value her education and her community was Mary Rueter of DeWitt.

“Mary was best friends with my grandma,” Green explained. “When my grandma died, she stepped up and took us in as her own family. She’s always encouraged us, been there for all of our activities and has shown us how to give back to a community that always has given us so much. And she taught me anybody can be your family … you don’t have to be related to be a family.”

Green said she would advise any students who are more shy and introverted, as she once was, to step outside of their comfort zones and give themselves a chance to shine.

“Try one new thing a year,” she said. “Whether it be an activity in school or in the community. It will help you find where your path needs to go.”