Beulah Grad Receives Prestigious Award - - Bismarck/Minot/Williston/Dickinson-KXNEWS,ND

Beulah Grad Receives Prestigious Award


His accomplishments are almost too many to fit into one story.

Christian Heller has been awarded the Rhodes Scholarship, meaning he will study at Oxford University in England after he graduates from the Naval Academy in Annapolis this May.

But what makes his mom most proud, is something he's had all along.

Christian Heller is speaking in his old English teacher's class... His mom's class.

He is answering questions about the Naval Academy to get students interested in a military future.

While he's already accomplished so much, he wants to do more for his home state.

"It's these scholarships to England, there's 80 around the world, 32 in the U.S., they're very special, they're kind of like the Willy Wonka golden ticket type of scholarship, open a lot of doors, a lot of connections." says Heller.

"I didn't know he'd be a Rhodes Scholar, I had apprehensions when he first when to the Naval Academy, but he has determination in him...." Tina Heller/Christian's mom.

"I thought about the oil boom and the effects of it on the state, so I'll be going to Oxford then to study oil development in the Middle East to see how it compares, and I'll do that for two years, before coming back to the U.S." says Heller.

The already worldly-young man also speaks Arabic, but his overall message to students is inspirational to all.

"Go to 2009, and look at my photo, I lost like around 100 pounds to come to the Naval Academy, so that was really difficult to me, so it just goes to show you anybody can do it, whether it's academics or physical or whatnot, if you want something like that you can do it."

"Students from North Dakota should never feel limited in any way, and expanding horizons beyond the borders of the state and even beyond the country is a great thing."

"He's been a good speaker for a long time, he has that ability to connect with people and their interests, and for my students I look at it as a great opportunity, to encourage them, if you want something, don't be afraid to try, be excited about learning." says Tina Heller.

"It's how you want to change the world with it, the Rhodes slogan is those who fight the world's fight, hopefully I'll help North Dakota with it, we'll see."

He is also speaking about the Naval Academy at other schools around the region this week.

According to the Rhodes Trust in Virginia...---Only around 46 students have been awarded the scholarship from North Dakota since it started back in 1904.

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