VERMILLION, S.D. -- Six students from The University of South Dakota spent a day mentoring at-risk youths at the Alpine Ski Society, which is located at Great Bear Recreational Park in Sioux Falls, S.D.
Sponsored by the Center for Academic Engagement, USD students paired up with students from Structure Teach, FLEX and the Success Academy of the Sioux Falls School District. In teaching youths from these organizations how to ski or snowboard, the USD students were also teaching personal growth, positive self-esteem, self-awareness and positive risks – all values that the Society advocates. The Alpine Ski Society is a nonprofit organization open to churches, schools and local organizations who serve at-risk or underprivileged youths. They also provide financial support and personal encouragement to youths participating in activities at Great Bear Recreation Park.
"This is really a great way to have USD students interact with youths and provide important community support," stated Brian Moehnke, AmeriCorps VISTA and facilitator for the event. "Having an environment outside the classroom allowed for group interaction, and I’m certain that everyone had a positive learning experience."
Student mentors from USD included Pat Albertson of Bozeman, Mont., Rachel Delaney of Webster, S.D., Gabrielle Iverson and Rosalie Mueller of Vermillion, Kevin Mims of Sioux Falls, S.D., and Wes Robertson of Rapid City, S.D.