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Kovaleski family launches ‘Live with Purpose’

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 27 August 2016 at 1:10 pm
Kelly and Jay Kovaleski

Photo by Tom Rivers
Kelly and Jay Kovaleski, both Albion teachers, are running a new program to help people focus on goals and find their passion in life. They are pictured by the “Perseverance” crayon in front of the elementary school.

ALBION – Nicholas Kovaleski was remarkably determined, even as a teenager, working towards his goals in football, swimming and tennis, and giving of himself by helping at home and through Boy Scouts.

Nicholas adopted “Live with Purpose” as his motto when he was 11.

He was courageous in his fight against leukemia. The community rallied around him and his family, with many people wearing “Live with Purpose” bracelets and T-shirts.

Nicholas was just 15 when he died from the disease on June 29, 2011.

Nick’s parents want to share “Live with Purpose” with others, helping people identify and reach their goals and passions.

“It’s about discovering talents,” said Kelly Kovaleski, an academic intervention teacher at the elementary school. “It’s about healthy decision making.”

Nicholas was very goal-driven and put in the hard work and dedication. That extra effort can be the difference in excelling, his mother said.

“It just takes that little extra effort to go from ordinary to extraordinary,” she said.

The family has awarded scholarships in Nicholas’s name to graduates who have a record of community service and who “Live with Purpose.”

Provided photo Nicholas Kovaleski pushed himself when he competed in swimming, tennis and football.

Provided photos: Nicholas Kovaleski pushed himself when he competed in swimming, tennis and football.

Now, the Kovaleskis through workshops and presentations believe they can help people work towards their goals.

They use a compass and ask participants to list people and activities that have a positive influence on them. That represents “North.” Those are the people and things that “have your heart,” Mrs. Kovaleski said.

South can be those choices and people who pull you off course – “the detours of life,” Mr. Kovaleski said.

East represents the future and west is the past. Mrs. Kovaleski said many people have unresolved grief. She has used journaling and prayer for comfort since her son’s loss.

Mr. Kovaleski takes an early morning run to process emotions and have his quiet time. Mr. Kovaleski, a physical education teacher and coach at Albion, would like to share the message with youth groups, schools, churches – people of all ages.

“This is about finding our way in life,” he said. “Using the compass you can live with purpose.”

Kovaleski is a tennis and swimming coach at Albion and will be recognized next week with the Sportsmanship Award for Section 6. The family has set up a Website for Live with Purpose. Click here for more information.

Provided photo The Kovaleski family includes parents Kelly and Jay, and Michayla (holding picture of her brother Nicholas), Matthew (back left) and Thomas.

The Kovaleski family includes parents Kelly and Jay, and Michayla (holding picture of her brother Nicholas), Matthew (back left) and Thomas.