He went on to get a degree in maintenance and studied business at the Minnesota School of Business before entering the work eld. But he wasn’t satisfied.
“I was working full-time just doing my thing going to work every day, he said. “I knew I wanted to go back to school.” Then one day at work the thought came to him — his future was in teaching.
He started out studying elementary education at Rochester Community and Technical College, but once he got into his classes he realized that the subject he gravitated toward teaching was environmental science. It was an RCTC classmate’s excitement at getting accepted at St. Cloud State that got Olson interested in learning about the Huskies. This is where he found exactly the program he was interested in — earth and space science teaching.
“Having an opportunity to take these couple of years to finish my four-year degree and just enjoy the experience — it’s priceless,” Olson said.
“So far it’s been amazing.”
Working with the faculty and fellow classmates is great, but St. Cloud State creates a real sense of community and the student clubs and organizations that help students connect to one another while pursuing their interests, he said.
“The opportunities are definitely available here,” he said. Olson is a member of Phi Kappa Tau fraternity and serves as the organization’s service and fundraising chair. He also serves as president of the Interfraternity Council.
As a non-traditional student, Olson is familiar with living paycheck-to-paycheck and the stress that worrying about bills can bring. Being a scholarship recipient has taken o some of the stress. Olson earned a Coborn Plaza scholarship his first year and earned three education
scholarships totaling $7,000 his second year at St. Cloud State. Between bills for school and his diabetes, Olson said having one less
worry is a big help.
“When there’s lack of money and something is needed then that’s the first thing you worry about — where am I going
to get the money,” he said. “Being able to go to class and know that everything is taken care of financially — it just allows you to learn
“It’s his passion for learning that his professors see in the classroom,” said Kate Pound, professor of geology and hydrology. “I can rely on him to ask the questions that the rest of the class may not ask. He is continually testing his understanding of new material. He has done well — a consequence of his commitment to truly understanding the material.”