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Youth Salute

Area high school seniors were recognized with Youth Salute leadership awards, sponsored by Hills Bank and Trust Company, Sunday, September 8th at the Englert Theatre, Iowa City. Almost 250 students from 16 area high schools including City High, Clear Creek Amana, English Valleys, Highland, Iowa Mennonite, Iowa Valley, Lisbon, 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. 

The ceremony included American Paralympic ski racer, Josh Sundquist. At age nine Josh was diagnosed with a rare form of bone cancer and given a fifty percent chance to live. He spent a year on chemotherapy treatments and his left leg was amputated. Doctors declared Josh cured of the disease at age thirteen and he took up ski racing three years later. He trained for the next six years and in 2006 he was named to the US Paralympic Ski Team for the 2006 Paralympics in Turino, Italy. Since then, Josh has become a bestselling author and motivational speaker for Fortune 500 companies, inner city public schools, and even the White House.

Recognized as Outstanding Youth Leaders were Cassidy Bringle (City High), and Blake Oetting (West High). Each will 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. Runner-up Outstanding Youth Leaders were Stephen Bork (West High) and Soumba Traore (City High). Other local leadership award winners included Cassandra Adamson (Williamsburg), Cory Brannaman (Mount Vernon), Isaac Clough (City High), Laura Deininger (Mount Vernon), Seth Eash (Mid-Prairie), Elena Foster (City High), Emma Greenberg (City High), Neil Harte (City High), Devin Hedlund (West High), Anna Johnson (Clear Creek Amana), McKenna Kilburg (Lisbon), Hilah Kohen (West High), Carson Kuntz (Mount Vernon), Ryan Miller (Regina), Tempest Montgomery (English Valleys), Dallas Nye (Iowa Mennonite), Dakota Olson (English Valleys), Mary Rethwisch (City High), Velarchana Santhana (West High), Spencer Shalla (Mid-Prairie), Tyhesia Simpson (Clear Creek Amana), Ty Stender (Washington), Edgar Thornton (City High), Shirley Wang (West High), Emma Wortman (City High), Hanna Yowell (Regina), and Lilian Zhu (West High). 

Youth Salute is a program of the National Council on Youth Leadership (NCYL) and is locally sponsored for the 19th year by Hills Bank and Trust Company. The NCYL 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.

View a complete list of Youth Salute Participants.


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