The Duluth Area Family YMCA along with Mentor Duluth and Mentor Superior are proud to announce Salisa Hochstetler as a YWCA Women of Distinction Award Winner!

Salisa brings to the table an unyielding ethic for social justice and is committed to identifying and challenging the oppressive barriers families in our program face. As an immigrant and a woman of color raising her children in the Twin Ports, she brings to our team an invaluable lens and perspective that is rooted in lived experience and compassion. She is not afraid to speak up when she knows there are voices not being heard or represented, and she is quick in identifying underlying bias that might be present. Incorporated into this is her gentle, patient approach in meeting people where they are at when it comes to learning to recognize privilege and oppression. Salisa also believes it takes a village to raise a child, she genuinely lives by this motto day in and day out and her welcoming, warm, and dependable demeanor make her a natural emerging leader in the community.

Salisa immigrated to our community from Thailand to pursue her education when she was a young adult. She has the courage and fortitude to establish herself in a new land and new culture, making her home and growing her family in the Twin Ports. She managed to do all this while working towards her Master’s Degree, completing an internship, serving full time as the Director for Mentor Superior, giving birth to two children, and mentoring two adolescent girls. With all of this, Salisa is innately humble in her accomplishments and ambitions. She is a role model of grace, wisdom, compassion, and strength for our whole team and models a nonjudgmental, strengths-based acceptance for the youth and families we serve.

Salisa is empathetic, kind, compassionate, and is the type of person who works quietly and diligently behind the scenes. She supports others in reaching their goals and is collectively minded when working on projects and events. She knows most of the families, volunteers, and history of the Mentoring program. The way parents and mentors talk about her is glowing; she helps families and volunteers feel heard, happy, and supported and has thus grown Mentor Superior’s voice and community impact. Salisa is kind, strong, and someone whom the whole team and community deeply admires. We are all very fortunate she has chosen to make the Twin Ports her home.

Salisa is an undeniable leader and women of distinction in our community!

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