It’s a wrap

Network New Ulm Youth students graduate from the program
Isabelle Miller, junior, after graduation ceremony
Isabelle Miller, junior, after graduation ceremony
Shelby Seifert

With the end of the school year coming around, many of the outside school activities are coming to an end. This is true with the Network New Ulm Youth program. Isabelle Miller, junior, arrived at the New Ulm Country Club and was ready to get on with the ceremony.

Isabelle Miller, junior, working on a team-building activity (Shelby Seifert)

The students started the day with a team-building activity. They were given spaghetti noodles, tape, string, and one big marshmallow. The point of the activity was to make the tallest freestanding tower with the provided materials and with the big marshmallow on the top of it. Miller said, “It was my favorite part of the day because my group won, and it was really cool.”

After this, the journalist Mike Max came and presented a speech to them. Miller said, “He was really inspiring, and I thought it was cool that he worked with a bunch of mainstream people.”

Isabelle Miller, junior, working on the future of New Ulm poster (Shelby Seifert)

Next, they worked on a project about what New Ulm could look like in the next 20 years. Millers’ group leader was Shannon Hillesheim, one of the volunteers for the Network New Ulm Youth program. Hillesheim said, “I help with the youth program because I did the adult program and I thought it was so great for young people to see what’s all in the community.” Hillesheim helped Miller and her group come up with the ideas that they put on their poster.

Isabelle Miller and Madelyn Portner, juniors, presenting their graduation project (Shelby Seifert)

The last part of the day was the actual graduation part of the day. The students first had to present their graduation projects. Miller and her group did theirs on their favorite day of the program. Hers was history day. After all the projects were presented, the students came forward and got their certificates, signaling the end of the program.

Network New Ulm is a great experience for students who are curious about learning more about the city they live in.

— Addison Hage

Network New Ulm Youth is a youth leadership program that has been running since 2001. Students apply to be in the program as sophomores or juniors by answering some questions. The committee then picks the students that had the best scores and they are welcomed to the program. The program lasts seven months, and members meet one Wednesday of each month.

Many of the students and the staff all agree that it is a great way to spend their time. “I thought it was an amazing time. We got to meet a bunch of new people. I feel like as the year went along, we all got along better and really networked. I have definitely made some lifelong buddies,” Miller said.

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