Simplified: Mayor Paul TenHaken has selected a group of 16 Sioux Falls high schoolers to serve on his 2023-24 Mayor's Youth Council.

Why it matters

  • The goal of the council is to give these kids a chance to share input on community issues, learn about local government and develop leadership skills. This year marks the third year of the program.
  • The students selected will also get a chance to meet city officials, learn how the various city departments work and tour facilities like the new public safety training campus, the landfill and the water purification plant.
  • Student Alanna Smith, one of three kids returning for a second year on the council, said she applied to join because she wanted to ensure her voice was heard on issues that are important to her.
"I want my voice to matter," Smith said. "I knew that the council would allow me to learn about how Sioux Falls is governed and how we as youth can influence the community with our perspective."
"Adults often times tend to overlook kids and their opinions, but I really do believe we have a lot to contribute to society," council member Siyanne Redda said. "I am very engaged in social activism and love finding ways to allow those that are overlooked a chance to speak up."

Who is on the council?

From Jefferson High School:

  • Aayush Mohapatra
  • Betelihiem Tecleab
  • Champ Baumgarten

From Lincoln High School:

  • Adeline Roths
  • Ava Gonzalez

From O'Gorman High School:

  • Emma Ambroz

From Roosevelt High School:

  • David Yusten Jr.
  • Nathan Arens
  • Nicholas Maas
  • Savannah Woods

From Sioux Falls Christian:

  • Calvin Adamson

From Washington High School:

  • Maddie Johnson
  • Sunday Rose
  • Alanna Smith
  • Siyanne Redda

What happens next?

The group of selected students will meet regularly throughout the school year.