Persistence, grit and helping others have been part of Marwan McGowan’s approach to life as a student founder at Kingdom Prep Lutheran High School. Initially drawn to KP because of a connection to principal, Kevin Festerling, Marwan also resonated with the challenge of “starting something brand new where I could put my own ideas and thoughts to starting a high school—which not many people can say they’ve done.”
As he reflects back on his time at KP, Marwan is grateful for the personal growth in his leadership. As co-captain of the football team, McGowan felt deeply the responsibility to his fellow teammates both on and off the field: “we had to make sure that the players on the team were good in the classroom, good at home and that everything was fine with them. . . in their personal lives.” Adapting to his growing responsibility and sense of ownership as a founder was one of the biggest challenges Marwan faced as he reflects on his years at KP:
“As founders we had an entire school on our back. That’s a different type of responsibility than just worrying about your grades, because now you have to worry about . . .helping run school events, and in the very beginning coming up with a mascot, <the school> colors, uniforms, things of that sort.”
Marwan advises future students to learn quickly to “man up and learn to adapt to be the man that you’re meant to be” and that buying into the brotherhood KP offers is a big part of such learning. The brotherhood he experienced at KP forged a close connection to several fellow students he considers more than just friends—but brothers—relationships he knows will continue after he graduates from Kingdom Prep.
As McGowan looks to the future, he plans to attend Martin Luther College (MLC) in New Ulm, MN to study education and hopes to one day come back to Kingdom Prep as a physical education teacher. As he considers four years of college at MLC and the potential culture shock of a small college town in Minnesota, he looks forward to the challenge with several other graduating seniors. “We are going to come in and give our flavor, be ourselves. . .. I don’t anticipate culture shock but a cultural blending and look forward to mutual learning and growth in a new environment.“