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Mayor TenHaken takes personal angle to exemplify mentorship need

Published: Mar. 25, 2021 at 11:24 PM CDT
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SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (Dakota News Now) - The Sioux 52 Mentoring Initiative began about a year ago, around the same time the pandemic began affecting Americans. Mayor Paul TenHaken of Sioux Falls pushed for the initiative to help future generations become leaders; however, even he has an acquaintance or two to call a mentor.

The past year has highlighted a few stories from Brienne and Michelle, Judge Schreier and Alayna, and Joseph and Dave among others; but, one of the people backing this initiative shed some light on his own relationship with former South Dakota State Representative Joel Dykstra.

When Dykstra first met TenHaken, he was starting his business ‘Click Rain’ and became the Mayor’s first client. At the time, Dystra was running for U.S. Senate against then South Dakota Senator Tim Johnson. While the political backgrounds have been prevalent between the two, both say their conversations revolve around life.

“Mentorship is really just noticing people,” said TenHaken. “We underestimate the impact that just having a relationship with someone and helping guide them in the right direction.”

With hundreds of mentors now filling that role over the last year, Mayor TenHaken says it could be a difference-maker for so many individuals such as ex-inmates or first-generation immigrants.

Dykstra echoed that sentiment saying, “It’s a good feeling to be able to talk to younger fathers, husbands, and people in business at different stages of their careers and share some of the experiences that I’ve had.”

You can become a mentor and help others in the community by visiting Sioux52.org or calling the Helpline Center at 211.

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