Xavier leaders awarded


The NCYL committee, Xavier senior Sophie Cataldo, and Linn-Mar senior Kaleb Cook pose for a picture following the awards ceremony. Photo Submitted.

Jenae Marshall, News Writer

An all expense paid trip for leadership was not the only thing seniors Sophie Cataldo and Ethan Lowder received at the National Council On Youth Leadership. The “Youth Salute” program honors outstanding high school seniors who maintain a high scholastic average and have demonstrated leadership ability in church, school, and the community. The conference took place at Kirkwood Iowa Hall and Mount Mercy University in Cedar Rapids. There were 15 schools that participated in this year’s NCYL conference and close to 200 students were chosen for the program. Of those 200 students, 34 currently attend Xavier High School.

The board members of NCYL choose the applicants based on the extracurricular activities the students participate in. They also look at essays the students write. Students also filled out an application and completed an interview with NCYL volunteers. The board members observed the students throughout the two days they were at the conference to assess their attentiveness and the way they interact with others.

“I think my work in politics helped me to stand out. I’m the executive chair of a political organization called the State of Iowa Youth Advisory Council, and I wrote my essay about passing one of the council’s initiatives, a synthetic drug reform, into Iowa law,” Lowder said.

Lowder had the honor of receiving the Modern Companies Leaders in Excellence Award. He will be attending the Town Meeting on Tomorrow, which is held at Washington University in St. Louis, Missouri at the end of October.

Cataldo won the Lura McBride Outstanding Youth Leader of the Year Award. This is the highest award one can receive at NCYL.

“It was unexpected! It was an honor to be recognized among such a talented and distinguished group of leaders. Each of the participants in NCYL is a leader in their own communities and schools, and each are deserving of an award. I’m honored to have been selected,” Cataldo said.

Cataldo will attend the Global Leadership Connection, Leadership Experience in Washington D.C. in late October. The mission of this convention is to help students develop spiritually, morally, and socially.

NCYL encourages youth leadership all around America and will welcome a new group of leaders to the program next year.

Jenae Marshall

News Writer