8Work ethic. It’s a characteristic commonly graded by others based on here and now situations; obviously, loosely used a lot of the time. By definition, work ethic is the belief in the moral benefit and importance of work and its inherent ability to strengthen character. Based on that definition, you either have work ethic or you don’t.

Character. A trait that has no code, but we all build on it. Many events in life build character. Success can build character and, at the same time, character leads to success. By definition, character is the mental and moral qualities distinctive to an individual. Parents play a major role in character building, allowing kids to develop their own personalities, while teaching important life lessons. It’s a long process that involves both discipline and reward.

Jesse McLean was taught well. A graduating senior at Lincoln County High School, McLean hasn’t just proven he has outstanding work ethic and character. He has demonstrated what work ethic and character really mean. McLean received varsity letters in football, wrestling, and track and field. He’s been named to the Academic All-State team for these sports multiple times. In wrestling, McLean was regional champion twice and a state finalist once in the 160-pound weight class. He holds a record of 37-15, with a league record of 13-1 his senior year. On top of that, he maintained a 4.0 grade point average throughout high school, making him the salutatorian of his senior class and earning him multiple scholarships, including a four-year presidential scholarship at Southern Utah University. Recently, McLean won a Facebook contest earning him a free spot in a nationally recognized wrestling camp held in August and hosted by Utah United.

The contest was based on most likes, and in true fashion, McLean committed himself to achieving that goal. He had this to say of his success, “You don’t have to be talented at something to bring success in it. You just have to work hard to achieve your goals and they will come. Hard work beats out everything else. I want to live like I’m wrestling. Never give up and always move and attack. You are always working hard and making the best of it. In the end, you will have no regrets and be proud of yourself.”

It seems fitting to conclude with a reminder of the beginning; the parents that plant the seeds that root the character and work ethic of their children. When his mom, Torrie McLean was asked what message she had for her son as he embarks on the next phase of his life, she said, “You have made us very proud. You have great determination and drive to do whatever you set your mind to. With that, you will accomplish great things. You have been so awesome. You have achieved many things. You know what you want in life, so go for it. Chase your dreams. Love you so much!”