Sioux 52 Mentoring Initiative Stepping Up Recruitment Efforts

The Sioux 52 Mentoring Initiative is increasing its efforts in 2021 to encourage community members to start mentoring and businesses to be intentional about starting a culture of mentorship. Community leaders say that while the pandemic has made face-to-face mentorship relationships challenging, the need for mentorship is even more important than ever.

Sioux 52, which was launched in January 2020, is a regional mentorship initiative led by Mayor Paul TenHaken and the Rotary Club of Downtown Sioux Falls. The goal of Sioux 52 is to recruit 5,200 mentors by 2026 and to encourage employers in the Sioux Falls area to motivate employees to give an hour each week—52 hours—to those in need of mentorship.

Within the first year of Sioux 52, the community of Sioux Falls has stepped forward to make a commitment to mentorship. In 2020, more than 250 individuals signed up to mentor, 30 businesses/organizations signed on to be partners and create a culture of mentoring, and organizations that administer 27 mentoring programs joined Sioux 52.

During National Mentoring Month, the mayor challenged the community to make a renewed commitment to mentorship in 2021. “While this is a great start, we have much work to do to continue closing the gap on mentoring in the Sioux Falls area. The future of our community depends on it. Events of the past year—from social justice concerns to the pandemic—have only underscored the important role that mentorship plays in our community,” TenHaken said.

The Rotary Club of Downtown Sioux Falls is actively working to engage new companies across the community to commit to implementing a culture of mentoring by June 30, 2021.

“The Rotary Club of Downtown Sioux Falls is a proud partner in this important and critical initiative,” said Rotary President Jason Herrboldt. “Mentorship is our opportunity. It is an opportunity, intended to help unlock the potential of 5,200-plus additional members in our community. As leaders in this community, we recognize the empowerment of mentorship and the compounding effect it can have on people and communities.”

Community members are invited to learn about how they can get involved at Individuals are also invited to learn more at the Sioux 52 Mentoring Initiative Summit at noon on Monday, Jan. 25. The focus of the event will be on how to create a culture of mentoring in businesses.

The event will be moderated by Mayor TenHaken and Rotarian Tony Burke. Dr. Jane Stavem, Sioux Falls School District Superintendent; Tamien Dysart, Co-Founder of Think 3D Solutions; Tom Walsh, CEO of GreatLife; Rana DeBoer, Chief Culture Officer, City of Sioux Falls; and Matt Paulson, Founder and CEO of MarketBeat, will share how they have championed mentorship at their organizations.

Learn more at

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