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 seniors. 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:
Emma Brist, Grace Martenson and Samantha Keup
Hannah Herzog, Carter Schmidt and Lucy Walker

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
  • Lack of diversity and/or inclusion

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

Helping the Youth Serving Organizations of Watertown

Since starting, more than $150,000 has been awarded by the Youth Council to youth serving organizations in Watertown.  

2022 grants awarded in the spring were:

  • 4 the Kids SD: $500 to help families pay for student meals in the Watertown School District
  • Boys & Girls Club: $1,500 to help with expenses for some youth members' summer field trip opportunities
  • Community Transit of Watertown/Sisseton, Inc.: $2,500 to help with youth and family transportation for summer events
  • East-Central CASA: $1,400 to purchase Park & Rec passes, movie tickets and tickets for local events for children served by CASA
  • Glacial Lakes Multicultural Center: $1,700 to assist with providing opportunities for children to celebrate Cinco de Mayo, learn about Hispanic culture, etc.
  • Sleep in Heavenly Peace: $2,160 to enable Watertown Chapter to purchase materials to build and provide 13 twin beds to children in need
  • PACH: $2,500 for one week's worth of food packs