GLADWIN – Athletics were not the only activities that took a hit when the COVID–19 virus forced the closing of our schools. All school activities also came to an end costing many students the opportunity to bring closure to their senior year. One of those students was Gladwin senior Renee Brumm. Renee, an honor student at Gladwin High School spent some time this week talking with me about her school experience. We hadn’t been talking for long when I realized that the future is in good hands.
One of her first loves was the theater. She has been involved with it in some capacity since seventh grade. “I have been involved in multiple shows,” she said. “I have been back stage and on stage. Every aspect except tech crew.” She described it as being a hobby. “It’s something I really enjoy doing.”
School involvement and community service are extremely important to her. She has helped out with the food drives at Christ the King Church for several years and participated in several clubs. She also has a full scholarship to Northwood University to study business management and plans to operate her own Non Profit Organization someday. While at Northwood she will be enrolled in the BBA/MBA program which will allow her to earn her Bachelors Degree in Business Administration in three years and her Master of Business Administration in one additional year. She will have both of her degrees in four years.
Brumm has two siblings, older brother Michael and twin brother Jamie. She is from a family that has a long history of military service. Her mom Sandy Kulik was in the Navy and her dad was in the Army. She also has a grandfather that fought in Vietnam and several uncles and cousins who have also served, so it was only natural that she considered joining herself, but she also wanted to attend college. After visiting Northwood she realized that the school was a “perfect fit” for her. So to give herself the best of both worlds she decided to join the Army National Guard.
Since joining the guard she has been participating in the Recruit Sustainment Program, which is based at Camp Grayling. The program is designed to prepare the new recruits for basic training. Participants attend one weekend a month. By the time Brumm gets to basic training in September she will have had ten months to prepare. The weekend for the new soldiers starts on Saturday morning with personal training after which they receive some type of specific job training.
The training varies from month to month and involves skills such as weapons use and navigation. “The sergeants treat them as if they are already at basic training. It’s a great program,” she said. “It keeps us motivated and gives us an idea of what it is going to be like when we are actually there.”
Before leaving for basic training in September Brumm will be taking classes at Northwood to get a jump on her college career. Basic training will last nine weeks followed by 12 weeks of specific job training. She will be an Automated Logistical Specialist in the National Guard. Her training will keep her away from September through March. Once she returns to Michigan in the summer of 2021 she will start back at Northwood. Her commitment to the National Guard is for six years during which time she will do one weekend a month at her unit station, at Camp Grayling.
When asked about her experience with student council she laughed and said, “everybody thinks it’s about dance decoration, but it’s a lot more than that. We help with Teacher Appreciation week and do a lot of activities to help build student morale.” The National Honor Society is community service based, she said. “We run the Academic Center where people can get help during Intervention Time. We also help with the blood drives.” As a member of the high school Business Club she is involved in the Junior Achievement Program. Members teach financial literacy skills to kindergarten students at the elementary school. In a somewhat ironic twist, she was going to run track this year for the first time since eighth grade.
Brumm has the type of effervescent personality that gives you hope. All through the interview you could tell that she was not feeling sorry for herself. She has a plan for the future and that remains her focus. We are in good hands.