Schmit visit could have local impact

Joe Schmit

FAIRMONT — An award-winning broadcaster will be in the area Wednesday to talk to students and the community about the power of making an impact.

Joe Schmit has worked as a sports anchor for KSTP-TV for the past 30 years. He is also author of the book “Silent Impact: Influence Through Purpose, Persistence and Passion” and a popular keynote speaker.

Through research, Schmit has discovered that we make our biggest impressions when we are not trying to be impressive. You can become an “impact player” who makes everyone around you better just by being there.

Schmit will begin his day speaking to students at Martin County West. He will then move to the Performing Arts Center at Fairmont Jr./Sr. High School, speaking to students from GHEC, Truman, St. Paul’s Lutheran, sixth-graders from Fairmont Elementary School and students from the alternative school. In the afternoon, Schmit will talk to students at Fairmont Jr./Sr. High School. Finally, the public will be welcome to hear Schmit speak at 6:30 p.m. in the Performing Arts Center. The event is free.

An excerpt from Schmit’s book: “Forget about new year’s resolutions; start doing monthly Impact Resolutions. Every thirty days, recommit yourself to a resolution that will help make you a person of significant impact. These are not your typical resolutions to lose weight, eat healthier, or quit smoking. This is how I do them: I choose a human trait that I need to work on. It’s either a positive trait that I want to be better at or a negative trait that I want to eliminate. I intentionally focus on that trait for the entire month.”

This event is sponsored in part by the Martin County Substance Abuse Prevention Coalition and a drug-free community grant it received. In 2011, the Fairmont Substance Abuse Prevention Coalition was initiated. Then, in 2012, the Youth Coalition was born out of it. In 2016, the coalition expanded to all of Martin County.

“Through our drug-free communities grant, we work on environmental strategies and that’s why we’d like more people in out community to come to this event, because we’d like our whole environment to be positive and supportive of our young people. To be leaders in our community and to be healthy and to create a lasting change in our community that will continue long after this grant,” said Steph Johnson, MCSAP Coalition project coordinator.

Schmit’s appearance is also made possible by a grant provided by the Traverse des Sioux Library System and funded with money from Minnesota’s Arts and Cultural Heritage Fund.

Johnson first heard Schmit speak at an event two years ago, something she attended with several students. Following the event, Johnson said students who heard Schmit speak said, “Wouldn’t it be great if all the kids could hear this message?”

Johnson, in search for a partnership to make the event possible, reached out to Martin County Library director Jenny Trushenski, who said the library system had a grant that could be used to help.

Johnson said the idea to have Schmit speak came two years ago, but she has been actively working on planning for the past year.

While the event begins at 6:30 p.m., the doors will open at 5:30, with different organizations — MCSAP Coalition, CER, YOCO, Kinship the Fairmont Police Department, Center for Speciality Care and Human Services — having booths set up with information about their programs.

“Our hope would be that people would come out of this and say, ‘This is the new year, one of my impact resolutions is to be a volunteer or become involved in a program where I can help make a difference in young people’s lives,’ and this will provide resources from different organizations,” Johnson explained.

“We’re always looking for partnerships in the community from people who can help support our young people in Martin County to be alcohol and chemical free. This is a great way for people to come and find out how the community can support these kids who really want to make a difference,” she said.

Johnson said Schmit will talk to students all morning, then take a few hours to regroup and go over feedback he received from students before he speaks to the community.

“For every person in the community to be able to hear what the kids came up with during the day … what a gift for us to be able to hear that,” Johnson said.