Following the news since 1972

The North Star

Following the news since 1972

The North Star

Following the news since 1972

The North Star

Veteran’s Day 2023

Capt. Oleson: Don’t rush finding yourself
2013+North+graduate+Captain+Jordan+Oleson+delivers+the+keynote+address+at+the+annual+Veterans+Day+assembly+Nov.+9.
Kimi Binning
2013 North graduate Captain Jordan Oleson delivers the keynote address at the annual Veterans Day assembly Nov. 9.

Speaking at the 2023 Veteran’s Day Assembly at Oshkosh North High School, Captain Jordan Olesen had a clear message for students: Finding the person inside of you takes time, and not knowing this in high school is completely normal.

“You’ve [North students] all been given the tools to lead and to find the person that’s inside you, and it’s okay if you haven’t found that part of yourself yet. That part of you will come. I didn’t find that until I was in college and even in my early 20s. When you have doubts [about yourself], that’s okay, and that’s normal.” 

Olesen graduated from Oshkosh North High School in 2013, saying his goodbyes to his hometown and furthering his education at the University of Wisconsin-Madison from 2013 until 2017. In 2016, Olesen was selected for the Marine Corps Naval Reserve Officer Training Corps scholarship. He attended the Officer Candidates School (OCS) in Quantico, VA, where he earned the title, Marine. From there, intensive training and experience brought him to the title of Captain in June of 2022. 

The alumnus admitted he didn’t know what he wanted to do in college originally, but he prioritized giving back to his community. Eventually, Olesen graduated with a bachelor’s degree in biological systems engineering.

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“It wasn’t until my first year of college when I was thinking about what I wanted to do with my future.  I received a lot of scholarships to UW-Madison because I grew up with a single mom on disability. I wanted to do something that could give back to my community. In my search I found one of my friends in the Naval ROTC, and then I ended up finding the Marine Corps. It gave me a sense of purpose and made me feel like I was making a difference in other people’s lives. Now, there’s not a day that goes by where I don’t have a sense of purpose because I know I’m making a difference.”

As an alumnus of North, Capt. Olesen remembers many teachers that helped him see what he could accomplish and pushed him to do what he thought he couldn’t.

“Oshkosh North gave me the opportunity, especially from a few of my teachers I’d like to recognize: Paula Dillon, Keith Ruff, and Jason Cummings specifically. A lot of them were people who pushed me to not only see what I could do, but also to push me past what I thought I was capable of doing. They pushed me to find a part of myself that I didn’t know existed, and I wouldn’t be the man I am today if it wasn’t for them.”

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