In the bustling halls of Kennedy High School, a 10th-grade woodshop class was in session, led by the passionate and dedicated teacher, Mr. Sorenson. Among the diverse group of students in that class, one stood out – a young and determined student named Steve Torbenson. Steve was known not only for his ambitious nature but also for his unwavering commitment to pursuing his dreams.
As the first day of the semester unfolded, Mr. Sorenson had an idea to kickstart the year with a simple question: "What wood project would you like to make this year?" He strolled around the classroom, eager to hear the creative ideas brewing in his students' minds. The responses were what you might expect from high school students – small, manageable projects like wooden stools, picture frames, and birdhouses. Each choice was met with a nod of approval from the teacher, and the list grew steadily, indicating a straightforward year ahead.
However, when it came time for Steve to share his vision, he did so with unwavering confidence and ambition. Without hesitation, he wrote down a project idea that left the entire classroom in stunned silence: "King-size waterbed with drawers below and a large headboard with mirrors." The audacity and scale of Steve's project were unlike anything anyone had ever seen attempted in a high school woodshop class.
Mr. Sorenson, taken aback by this grandiose vision, couldn't help but voice his doubt. He looked Steve in the eye and asked, "Are you sure you can do this, Steve?" Without a hint of hesitation, Steve responded with a resounding, "Yes, Sir."
And so, the journey began, marked by determination and the echoes of Steve's father's unwavering encouragement: "You can do it, go for it!!" Steve delved into his project with boundless energy and a relentless work ethic. Hours turned into days, days into weeks, and weeks into months as Steve meticulously crafted each piece, assembled the waterbed frame, and designed the intricate headboard with mirrors.
As Steve's project took shape, piece by piece, the entire class watched in awe. His dedication, perseverance, and the sheer audacity of his vision inspired his fellow classmates. In the following semester, four other students decided to follow in Steve's footsteps and take on the challenge of crafting water beds of their own.
The woodshop class transformed into a hub of creativity, excitement, and collaboration. The room buzzed with the sound of power tools, the scent of freshly cut wood, and the shared ambition to turn their visions into tangible creations. Steve's bold decision had not only set the bar higher for his classmates but also elevated the status of their woodshop class to a whole new level.
When the semester reached its end, Steve proudly presented his completed King-size waterbed with drawers and the stunning headboard adorned with mirrors. It was a masterpiece that left everyone, including Mr. Sorenson, in awe. Steve had not only proven the feasibility of his ambitious project but had also demonstrated the power of determination and self-belief.
Steve Torbenson' s journey through that woodshop class became legendary within the school's walls. It was a testament to the belief that with passion, perseverance, and a resolute "You can do it, go for it!!," even the most audacious dreams could become a reality.
This journey was just the beginning of Steve Torbenson' s innovative path. It would ultimately lead him to a groundbreaking invention in 2010 – the world's first reusable air filtration mask, known as the RZ Mask. Over the years, RZ Industries, led by Steve, has sold over 3,000,000 masks worldwide, impacting countless lives.
In 2023, the story continued with the introduction of the new RZ M3 Mask, featuring over 14 US and International Patents, setting a new industry standard for respiratory protection. Additionally, Steve launched the RZ Airflow in 2023 as well, an innovative solution that attaches to PTAC heating and cooling units found in hotels, senior living facilities, apartments, hospitals, and offices worldwide.
Steve's passion is to give back by donating over 20,000 RZ Masks' to the wonderful people of Mongolia for Pregnant women and children
Steve Torbenson' s unwavering faith and the power of determination, self-belief, and the pursuit of audacious dreams has not only left an indelible mark on the woodshop class at Kennedy High School but has also transformed the way we protect our respiratory health.
The legacy of RZ Mask continues to inspire individuals to push boundaries, dream big, and, as Steve would say, "You can do it, go for it!!"