Walser Foundation drives 212 Leadership Team toward success


Theo Teske and Jack Marker

“Water boils at 212 degrees. However, it is not boiling at 211 degrees, so that one degree can make a world of difference.” This is how outgoing cabinet member Josie Shuster explains the name of Edina 212, a student leadership organization at Edina High School that now has more money at its disposal than ever thanks to a grant from the Walser Foundation, a charitable organization run by the Walser Automotive Group with the mission of promoting education and workforce engagement at all levels.

In order to express their gratitude, 212 decided to host a conference with representatives from the Walser Foundation on August 1 in the EHS community room. “This event is to celebrate the partnership between 212 and the Walser Foundation because in early June we received a notification from the Walser Foundation that they were giving 212 a grant that totaled three thousand and fifty dollars,” outgoing senior and former 212 cabinet member Landon Tselepis said.

Tselepis further explained, “Another big point of this event is to amplify 212’s presence in the high school. About a year ago nobody knew that we were a club, so we built this without any funds. This year with the new funds will better help us establish our presence and aid our impact in the Edina community.”

In attendance at the event were Director Nancy Warner and Social Media and Reputation Management Coordinator Dayna Landgrebe from the Walser Foundation, as well as Edina Superintendent John Schultz, EHS Assistant Principal Jenny Johnson, and many outgoing and incoming 212 cabinet members.

According to another outgoing 212 cabinet member Bobby Scalia, the importance of the grant cannot be understated. “Last year, we did a bunch of activities with $120. This year we have $3000, so it should be good,” Scalia said.

At the event, former 212 cabinet members Scalia, Tselepis, Shuster, and Korina Pekarek celebrated the many events 212 was able to make possible with its $120 budget last year, such as gift wrapping for Open Arms Minnesota, cooking meals for the Ronald McDonald House, running a Study Buddies program for elementary school students, and partnering with Youth Frontiers to run the middle school retreats. 212 also ran the Student Ambassadors program at EHS to welcome visitors to the school and created videos about the Opportunity Fair and finals.

New 212 cabinet members Christian Ramirez, Ella McGarvey, Cece Little, and Claire Devoe explained how the grant money from the Walser Foundation would be spent, focusing on the ability to create 212 t-shirts for every member. They also mentioned that a large portion of the grant will be going towards sandwich packing and curb painting.

After the event, McGarvey elaborated on the importance of the T-shirts. “This grant is super awesome because we are now able to buy t-shirts for every 212 member, which allows us to better communicate better with the student body. This will allow us to gain name recognition and hopefully increase the number of members in 212,” McGarvey said.

She further explained 212’s budget for the upcoming year. “We are continuing to do Study Buddies, and plan on increasing the number of tours given by the Student Ambassadors. We are also going to make a sixth committee which will focus on aiding new students to assimilate into the student body,” McGarvey said.

With a bigger budget than ever before, the future of 212 is looking bright.