Four Union High School juniors were among 27 outstanding teens in Black Hawk County, recognized for their volunteer service on May 12 as part of a virtual reception hosted online. The Mayors’ Top Teen & Mother Moon Service Scholarship Awards Virtual Reception celebrated teens (age 13-18) who have demonstrated commitment to volunteerism through their time and effort. Local students honored include Tyson Fleshner, Tristen Prouse, Sarah Roberts and Rylee Sash.

Tyson Fleshner
In addition to receiving a Mayor’s Top Teen Award, Fleshner was also the recipient of one of eight $1,000 Mother Moon Service Scholarships awarded.
In recognizing Fleshner, the Volunteer Center of Cedar Valley stated, “An interest in fine arts and agriculture has provided unique volunteer experiences for Tyson. As VP of Future Farmers of America at his school. Tyson helped coordinate a number of fundraising events such as their pancake breakfast. He was also invited to events at La Porte city’s FFA Museum, giving him the opportunity to interact with and teach children about chickens and agriculture. As a lead member of the Union Carolers Tyson brings the joy of music to his local area during the holidays. Tyson described what it was like performing for a nursing home residents, saying it was a moving experience to see the positive effects that music can have on people.”

Tristen Prouse
“Tristen has spent nearly 200 volunteer hours using her talents to help serve others in her community. She has crocheted shawls for her churches prayer shawl ministry and hats for infants through the American Red Cross. She’s also volunteered with the Northern Iowa Youth Orchestra, where she shares her love for music. Her passion for the environment has also led her to help plant two acres of Iowa prairie with her environmental science class.
‘I’ve learned so much about leaving this world a better place, and learning about yourself through your actions and the things you do for others,’ said Tristen.”

Sarah Roberts
“Humility and service are values that Sarah hold close to her heart. She is a natural leader and was voted Student Council president this year as a junior. Sarah can be found volunteering with Student Council, Future Farmers of America, German club and at her church. Her most meaningful volunteer experience was helping to teach summer school at the elementary school.

‘I learned that it doesn’t take much to change a student’s life,’ said Sarah.

‘One act of kindness can change a child’s view of school.’

Sarah’s involvement extends beyond volunteering, as she participates in the school mentorship program, dance team, speech and drama, band, choir and softball.”

Rylee Sash
“Volunteerism has been a priority for Rylee in and out of school. She’s dedicated her time and talents to completing her district’s elementary school yearbook, capturing student memories for a lifetime. Rylee serves as the president of the Benton County Youth Council, a 4-H leadership group. Much of this commitment supports the county fair, including answering questions for fair goers and assisting exhibitors. She also enjoys volunteering with her schools chapter of Future Farmers of America, and the mentors in Violence Protection Program for incoming freshmen. Other activities that are important to her include dance team, theater, speech, band and color guard and choir.”

This year marks the 22nd year for the Mayors’ Top Teen & Mother Moon Service Scholarship Awards program. Due to the COVID-19 crisis, though, the 2020 program was conducted as a virtual presentation in the form of a video that premiered on the Volunteer Center of Cedar Valley Facebook page on May 12.