Youth Salute

Youth Salute

2021 Youth Salute Leadership Awards Presented to Local High School Seniors

As a part of our involvement in youth and leadership, Hills Bank has sponsored the Youth Salute Leadership Awards for 27 years. Youth Salute is a program of the National Council on Youth Leadership (NCYL) and is guided by the vision of making tomorrow’s world better by developing leaders today. The council’s mission is to assist communities to applaud, encourage, and provide opportunity for the leadership development of their youth. Almost 250 students from 17 area high schools including City High, Clear Creek Amana, English Valleys, Highland, Hillcrest Academy, Iowa Valley, Lisbon, Liberty High, Lone Tree, Mid-Prairie, Mount Vernon, Regina, Solon, Washington (IA), West Branch, West High, and Williamsburg were honored for their academic achievement and leadership contributions. Students were selected by their high school faculty to receive the prestigious award on September 12th.

Alexandra Curtu from West High, Vincent Johnson from City High, and Advika Shah from West High, were recognized as this year’s Outstanding Youth Leaders. Each will receive the opportunity to attend the National Council on Youth Leadership Town Meeting on Tomorrow, an event that brings together youth leaders with diverse backgrounds from across the nation. This year, the students will gather virtually in October. The Runner-up Outstanding Youth Leaders were Jake Roth and Sophia Wagner, both from City High.

Other local leadership award winners included Sam Aitchison (Regina), Lilou Beachy (Mid-Prairie), Max Beckman (Liberty), Teagen Bollers (Clear Creek Amana), Anne Bower (West Branch), William Chen (West High), Madison Craig (Solon), Elly Holubar (Solon), Mackinze Hora (Highland), Jon Kamba Kaleka (Liberty), Soomin Koh (West High), Katelyn Maldonado (Lone Tree), Rachel Marsh (City High), Emma Nibaur (Regina), Madeline Peiffer (Highland), Maiha Richardson (Williamsburg), Antonio Sanchez (West High), Teagan Schaefer (Williamsburg), Madeline Smith (West High), Natalie Spinsby (Mt. Vernon), Hiruni Sumansiri (West High), Andrew Triplett (Regina), Anna Verry (West High), Sydney Woods (West High), and Quinn Wubbena (Washington).

This year’s ceremony included an address from Chris Norton. Chris Norton got knocked down. Hard. After suffering a spinal cord injury playing college football he lost all feeling and movement from the neck down. Chris was only given a 3% chance to ever move again.

He could have let it define him. But our lives aren’t shaped by circumstance. They’re shaped by us. Perseverance isn’t about the physical act of standing: it’s about attitude, and the ability to shape yourself in the face of adversity.

With the support of his friends, family, faith, and the love of his life, Emily, Chris proved the doctors wrong, and walked the stage at graduation that went viral worldwide. Then walked his bride, Emily, 7 yards down the aisle of their wedding. They are foster parents and have adopted 6 children.

His story has been published twice – first with his father, and now with Emily. Plus, a documentary about his life story is out on Netflix, Amazon Prime, and AppleTV titled 7 Yards: Chris Norton Story.

Chris was named one of ITA Group’s hottest keynote speakers. He travels across the country to inspire people from all walks of life, and demonstrates how to focus on our abilities to unlock the POWER TO STAND.

View the complete list of 2021 Youth Salute Participants

City High
Jocelyn Ankenmann
Janie Blau
Rowan Boulter
Tyler Cermak
Elliot Dunnwald
Jade Falkenhan
Avery Goodrich
Jocelyn Harte
Benjamin Horwitz
Vincent Johnson
Lydia Karr
John Klosterman
Ana Laura Leyser
Kimberly Marquez
Rachel Marsh
Parker Max
Molly McLaughlin
Ali Meredith
Omar Rodriguez Jr
Jacob Rohr
Jake Roth
Aaron Rutherford
Madelynn Schuh
Heidi Stalkfleet
Sophia Wagner

Clear Creek Amana
Teagen Bollers
Calia Clubb
Cale Dawson
Morgan Etscheidt
Adonis Fender
Hailey Frost
Hannah Frost
Ellie Hagen
Cassady Jackson
Tommy Morlan
Bryce Mougin
Bailey Olerich
Madison Serovy
Amanda Weih
Caitlyn Williams

English Valleys
Marissa Allison
Nevaeh Briggs
Kristen Fisher
Bryson Grove
Kaden Hall
Olivia Heyne
Gwen Mews

Jalynn Brown
Delaney Gerot
Mackinze Hora
Carsen Mellinger
Madeline Peiffer
Eli Slaymaker
Emma Soukup
Tristen Wendling

Hillcrest Academy
Julia Boller
Leah Bontrager
Kyleigh Dolan
Ivana Ebersole
Evelyn Gerber
Esther Hughes
Quang Huynh
Samara Jimenez
Noah Miller
Alex Niemeyer
Jacob Smith Derksen
Norah Yoder

Iowa Valley
Maci Doty
Aubrey Kriegel
Owen Ritter
Madeline Shade
Paige VanBerkum


Liberty High
Elizabeth Barnett
Ethan Bartachek
Max Beckman
Tatum Calderwood
Grace Ceynar
Sophia Doorn
Sophie Faga
Jack Funke
Chante Hardaway
Jennifer Ho
Kufre Ituk
Jon Kamba Kaleka
Macy Kazmierczak
Ashlyn Keeney
Ethan Keeney
Gavin Keeney
Plameldy Binua Matiyabo
Christian Montover
Lillian Quast-Villafana
Hannah Rechkemmer
Ashleigh Rensing
Boyd Skelley
Elayna Wenning
Isabelle Woody

Lluvia Sofia Garcia
Carter Hall
Jenna Woodward

Lone Tree
Jaden Doehrmann
Katelyn Maldonado
Abigail Nason
Alexa Norris
Cade Shield

Lilou Beachy
Madelyn Bender
Dylan Bunting
Will Cavanagh
Gunnar Gingerich
Chandler Hershberger
Justice Jones
Ethan Kos
Esther Martin
Alyssa McDowell
Rebekah Meader
Anna Nafziger
Thaddeus Shetler

Mount Vernon
Vance Arnold
Ellie Barkalow
Tessa Baty
Kambree Hultquist
Benjamin Johnson
Isabelle Krob
Avery Plathe
Madelyn Plotz
Elizabeth Quam
Jacob Russell
Natalie Spinsby
Lauren Swartzendruber

Sam Aitchison
Adam Boblenz
Sarah Dockery-Jackson
Hayden Dumont
Allison Greving
Allison Hein
Hannah Matthes
Emma Nibaur
Aseneta Oliver
Isabella Schuessler
Andrew Triplett
Ethan von Harz
Josie Voss

Jada Buffington
Neva Claude
Madison Craig
Kaia Holtkamp
Elly Holubar
Camryn Keith
MaKinley Levin
Shawna Lindemann
Alexandra Locke
Meghan O’Neill
Lauren Roskopf
Ava Stebral
Savannah Stookey

Brielle Anderson
Kasen Bailey
Lucas Kroll
Jenna Messer
Evan Miller
Greta Rothe
Grace Schiebel
Peyton Snakenberg
Grant Sobaski
Lance Sobaski
Emma Stalder
Robert Taylor
Ava Turner
Quinn Wubbena
Emma Zahs
Ethan Scott Zieglowsky

West Branch
AnDee Atkins
Anne Bower
Matthew Colbert
Lainee Edwards
Madelyn Hartz
Hilda Hernandez
Gavin Hills
Alexia Klinkkammer
Delaynie Luneckas

West High
Owen Aanestad
Boaz Abramoff
Clayton Bopp
Gary Chen
Jonathan Chen
William Chen
Emma Christopher
Lydia Cui
Abigail Cupp
Alexandra Curtu
Miles Davies
Samantha Falduto
Aashika Gadkari
Zoey Guo
Mesarah Hnesh
Danielle Hribar
Pakshal Jain
Anuj Jani
Adama Katile
Aissata Katile
Hanah Kitamoto
Soomin Koh
Caroline Mascardo
Alex McKane
Mishka Mohamed Nour
Estella Newton
Noah Oriano
Maggy Owen
Zachary Park
Michaela “Nikki” Pinter
Joseph Polyak
Nader Rahhal
Antonio Sanchez
Emma Selby
Advika Shah
Emily Shian
Hunter Shook
Madeline Smith
Hiruni Sumanasiri
Anna Verry
Makenna Vonderhaar
Claire Widmer
Sydney Woods
Reagan Yamashita
Helen Zhang
Evan Zukin

Carlee Cremeens
Joseph Degen
Kendra Eichhorn
Elizabeth Greene
Ruth Jennings
Hunter Kauffman
Hannah Koenighain
Maiha Richardson
Samuel Roberts
Kameron Royster
Teagan Schaefer
Tyler Schaefer
Morgan Schropp
Analyn Seeman
Shawn Slaymaker
Taylor Winegarden




2021 Schedule for Youth Salute Displays

9/13 – 9/20

Iowa City Eastside Office

2621 Muscatine Ave, Iowa City

9/20 – 9/27

Iowa City Gilbert Street Office

1401 S Gilbert St, Iowa City

9/27 – 10/4        

Iowa City Downtown Office

201 S Clinton St, Iowa City

10/4 – 10/11

Hills Office

131 Main St, Hills

10/11 – 10/25

Coralville Office

1009 2nd St, Coralville

10/18 – 10/25

Mt Vernon Office 

720 1st Ave SE, Mount Vernon

Will display Lisbon, Mt Vernon, Solon, and West Branch

10/25 – 11/08

North Liberty Forevergreen Office

590 W Forevergreen Rd, North Liberty

Will display City High, Clear Creek Amana, English Valleys, Iowa Valley, Liberty High, Lisbon, Mt Vernon, Regina, Solon, West Branch, West High, and Williamsburg

10/25 – 11/01

Kalona Office

120 5th St, Kalona

Will display Highland, Hillcrest Academy, Lone Tree, Mid-Prairie, and Washington


11/01 – 11/08

Wellman Office

229 8th Ave, Wellman

Will display Highland, Hillcrest Academy, Lone Tree, Mid-Prairie, and Washington

11/08 – 11/15


2481 Hwy 92 E, Washington