Developing Future Leaders

The Youth Council started in 2001 with the notion that young people care about others and their community and they would like to have a voice in the issues, challenges and opportunities they face both now and in the future.  

The Council is made up of three WHS seniors and three WHS juniors. Members apply for a 2-year position on the Council. Youth Council members learn about nonprofit organizations in our community, learn leadership skills, become involved in philanthropy and make a difference.

Since starting in 2001 more than 60 students have been involved. Members currently are:
Hannah Herzog, Carter Schmidt and Lucy Walker
Josie Althoff, Isabella Horning, Halle Olson

SWOT Analysis

The Youth Council members held their first meeting this fall via Zoom and conducted their annual SWOT Analysis.


  • School clubs and extracurricular activities for all age groups
  • Educational opportunities
  • Church activities


  • Vaping, drinking, drugs
  • Mental Health
  • Youth not respecting authority
  • Students not feeling safe at school
  • Truancy and skipping school

The students and staff use this information when inviting guest speakers to meetings, when they are reviewing grant applications, and awarding grants.  

Helping Our Community's Youth Serving Organizations

More than $150,000 has been awarded by the Youth Council to youth serving organizations in Watertown since 2001.  

2023 Youth Council grants were awarded in the spring and include:

  • 4 The Kids - $500 to help families pay for student meals in the Watertown School District.
  • Community Transit of Watertown/Sisseton, Inc. - $2,000 to help with youth and family transportation for summer events.
  • Coteau Prairie Master Gardeners - $250 to help purchase plants for garden boxes at the Boys & Girls Club.
  • East-Central CASA - $606 for Caring Closet and child-related needs for children served by CASA.
  • Fallout Shelter Ministries - $1,000 to purchase new floor and wall mats to increase     student safety.
  • Friends of the Goss Opera House - $2,500 to support the Passport to the Arts program.
  • Joy Ranch of South Dakota - $375 to assist in the purchase of equine cooling blankets.
  • Sleep in Heavenly Peace - $4,400 to enable the Watertown Chapter to purchase materials     to build and furnish beds for children in need.
  • Watertown Area PACH - $3,319 for one week’s worth of food packs for approximately 531 youth.