[Editor’s Note: This week the Daily Inter Lake will profile standout graduates among the class of 2018 who exemplify the role of “student mentors.”]
By PEREGRINE FRISSELL
Daily Inter Lake
At first glance, it would seem that something extraordinary molded Noah Love into the man he is today. He insists, however, that he is a product of the same local institutions that many Kalispell students benefit from.
It is likely Love’s commitment to being a part of as many of these groups as possible has allowed him to rise up and become a promising member of this year’s graduating class at Flathead High School.
Love grew up working in the jewelry store owned by his parents, Coins & Karats, on Main Street in Kalispell. The money he earned there helped him nurture a love of photography that is still strong today. It also gave him an early look into the business world.
Earlier in his education he was heavily into sports. When doctors found a traumatic bone cyst on his jaw, however, he thought his prep sports career had been derailed.
“In eighth grade I had a traumatic bone cyst, so pretty much a tumor in my jaw,” Love said. “I was going to do football freshman year and then they found this.”
Over the last four years the injury has spurred his life in a new direction.
He is still a major part of high school athletics, competing on the Flathead High School golf team and also experiencing success on the speech and debate team. This year, he placed seventh in the nation in the Lincoln-Douglas Debate category. This was also the first year he was able to make his way back to the ski slopes since the cyst was found.
He now believes that cyst may even have been a divine intervention — God telling him he had gifts that would allow him to make an impact far beyond sports.
Now, he sees himself as a man whose character rests on two large pillars: The first is a commitment to Christ and his creed, and the second is a love of math and all things numbers.
Love attends two or three church services a week, some alone and others with friends. Fresh Life Church in Kalispell is one of them, and he said he likes the way church makes him feel that he can use his individual skills to be a part of the larger tapestry of a well-functioning society.
Noah has always enjoyed applying the things he’s learned in big projects rather than just thinking about them on a small scale.
In 2017, he founded Christ’s Cup Coffee, a nonprofit that is raising money to sell organic, fair-trade coffee through churches that will donate profits back to religious charitable organizations.
He’s a crusader in more ways than one, however. Prominently placed on the navigation panel of his personal website is a button that directs people toward the online petition he created to express disapproval of the proposal to put a cellphone tower on top of Flathead High School. Opponents presented over 1,000 signatures in opposition to the proposal that was ultimately struck down by the school board at a May 16 meeting — approximately one-third of which were gathered through Love’s online petition.
Love said the campaign was important to him because it represented a chance to contribute to a movement that meant a lot to him without being a top dog. He was able to see where his perspective and skills fit in, contribute them, and then take a back seat and watch others lead the successful venture.
For an active young man, he sees that as the key to maximizing the impact he can have on the world, even after he leaves Montana to go to college.
Love is bound for the busy streets of New York City, where he has accepted a coveted spot in Columbia University’s freshman class next fall. He’ll be leaving for the city in August, where he hopes to study marketing and finance and focus on how business practices differ in various cultures across the globe.
Though he’s never been out of the country, Love said he is interested in putting an international spin on his economics and finance studies. He thinks examining the way business is conducted in different cultures could yield interesting observations about the way we do it here and revolutionize work everywhere.
“I like that idea of different societies comingling and being able to integrate,” Love said.
He also said he’s interested in business as a mechanism for positive change within society, and would like to one day head a large nonprofit or business that works across international borders to improve the lives of the people it touches.
“Maybe business should be more than just making a profit for yourself,” Love said.
Peregrine Frissell can be reached at (406) 758-4438 or firstname.lastname@example.org.