Photo by Laura Brandt 
VOLUNTEERS—WHS students recognized at the SALSA Recognition Luncheon include (sitting, L-R)  junior Olivia Warne; seniors Sidney Kenndey, Kennie Brandt, Trahas Habtemariam and Danielle Luettel; sophomores Madeline Nelson and Anna Anderson; (standing) junior Katie McKee; seniors Yushi Schieffer and Megan Etrhiem; sophomores Kaela Wierenga, Morgan Mitchell, Aftyn DeWit, Mary Christensen and Breanna Botsick and senior Najib Mohamud pose with principal Dan Conrad, standing far left.

SALSA luncheon recognizes 20 Warriors
Serve and Learn Student Association members volunteer many hours

By Megan Nolan

Twenty members of the Serve and Learn Student Association (SALSA) at WHS were honored for their many hours of community service work at the SALSA/LEO Recognition Luncheon March 12 at the Holiday Inn City Centre in Sioux Falls. 

Each year SALSA connects with over 1,500 high school age participants in the Sioux Empire. Since the program’s inception, the club’s youth have performed approximately 140,000 service hours. 

The event included a special proclamation from Mayor Mike Huether, a thank you from Sioux Falls Public School’s superintendent Brian Maher and more.  

WHS students recognized joined students from across the city and Brandon Valley. 

The honors of recognition started with over 50 hours of volunteer service. The members recognized for those hours included sophomores Anna Anderson, Aftyn DeWit, Morgan Mitchell and Mary Christensen; juniors Miranda Flenard and Mariah Jones and seniors Megan Etrhiem, Sidney Kennedy, Kennie Brandt, Trahas Habtemariam and Yushi Schieffer. 

Students recognized for over 100 hours of volunteer service included sophomores Breanna Bostick, Madeline Nelson and Kaela Wierenga; juniors Olivia Warne and Katie McKee and seniors Jamie Bitz, Kaylee Hanson, Najib Mohamud and Danielle Luettel. 

Mohamud alone was recognized with a total of 1,015 hours of service. He served as a volunteer firefighter. 

Kennedy said she finds joy in volunteering. 

“I enjoy giving my time to volunteer because I feel like I am helping those in need,” Kennedy said. “My most memorable volunteer experience was through mission trips with my church to places like Philadelphia, Texas and California. A small amount of my time can make a huge difference in someone else’s life.” 

Erthiem said her volunteer hours mean a lot to her.

 “Volunteering is great because there is nothing more rewarding than seeing the smiles on the faces of people that you help,” Erthiem said.


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