Changing Lives Today

It’s a big day today!  You may not realize it, but today is a fairly significant holiday.  It isn’t observed by too many different states, cities, or even businesses.  But it SHOULD be!  I have to admit, I don’t know that I’ll specifically observe it today, but I do several other times throughout the year. […]

September 6, 2019, was a magnificent day for many reasons.  For starters, it is was a beautiful day, sunny and warm, a reminder of our quickly ending summer.  Secondly, on that day 200 people from 37 different countries became United States citizens right here in Sioux Falls. Just what does it mean to be a […]

Now that we are into November, there has been a great deal of talk about being grateful for what we have.  We’ve even been encouraging people through our own social media to be grateful.  After all, that’s what the Thanksgiving holiday is all about. So, what are you thankful for?  No, really.  Take a few […]

  OOOoooOOOOooooOOoooo…..  It’s that spooktacular time of year again.  The ghouls and goblins come out, the headless horseman finds a jack-o-lantern to use as a head, and all of those little punks show up on my doorstep begging my candy off of me.  (Don’t worry; I really do buy candy for them.  But I buy […]

We spent September studying Cultural Understandings at the Center for New Americans, so I worked with my pre-GED® literacy students on a project about writing their own immigration stories. After learning about Ellis Island and listening to some profoundly moving stories of other people who are immigrants and refugees (like Tan Le’s story), my students were […]

Of course the Halloween decorations are out for your perusal at the stores.  And the Thanksgiving decorations are on display.  And the Christmas trees are all set up and lit to tempt you deeper into the Holiday spirit.  But, really?!?  All three holidays at once?  Can’t we just deal with one at a time? Better […]

Is English Pronunciation Really That Hard? Yes, it is! Just ask Ricky Ricardo. He will demonstrate to you the many pitfalls of English pronunciation here! I am a big fan of ‘I Love Lucy’ and I have watched this clip many times and I still laugh so hard every time I see it. It is funny […]

If you caught it, last week we started a two-part blog on the differences between debt settlement and debt management.  Often confused even by those in the industry, I wanted to talk about the differences.  You can find part one of this blog here. Let me be clear.  I may have a definite preference between […]

It was a joyous day for many students at the Center for New Americans as they celebrated their achievements at the end of the quarter. Over a three month period, 70 students graduated out of at least one level of English.  Students and teachers celebrated with an award ceremony, food, music, and speeches. During one […]

“Debt Settlement” & “Debt Management”.  Four words. Two phrases. One shared word between the two phrases. And SO FAR APART! Welcome to part 1 of 2 looking at debt settlement vs. debt management. As I talk with people out in the community, I find a lot of people are confused or mistaken about what each […]

There are a million wonderful things about the Center for New Americans, but the two main wonderful things are our students and their willingness to jump right in to their new community. This was the case, again, when a group of teachers and students went to the Downtown Public Library and attended a City Council Meeting during […]

It’s official – FALL IS HERE!  I love the fall.  The temperatures are just about perfect.  There is a crispness in the air.  The kids are back in school and we are back to something of a routine.  And it’s hunting season! If you aren’t a hunter, that’s ok.  Keep reading anyway.  I’m making a […]

“The only thing stronger than fear is hope.”  This poster has been on the wall of our teachers’ office here at the Center for New Americans for quite some time. I looked at it the other day and thought, every day we are surrounded by individuals from all walks of life that are filled with […]

It’s a statement I’ve certainly heard a lot – “What a waste.” Or perhaps you’ve heard, “Well, that was a waste of hard-earned money.” I could spend all day going through different ways we reference waste. Do people waste money? Absolutely! We wouldn’t have so many well-known phrases referencing it if wasting money weren’t so […]

It’s not just English anymore.  Refugees and immigrants that come to the United States are no longer just bombarded with a new language.  They also have to quickly and successfully learn to navigate technology. For instance, each morning I come to work.  I log into a computer and sign in for the day.  I check […]

More and more adoptees and birth parents are finding each other using DNA.

This time of year is definitely a time of change.  Kids are back in school.  Maybe they’ve just headed off to college.  Football season has begun.  Perhaps a new career for recent graduates.  Oh yeah, and if you finished attending college this last spring, your first student loan payment is coming due at any time […]

As I sat in on the advanced level English class, the instructor was teaching about laughter.  Tonight would be her last day of classes, and she informed the students that she wanted to end on a happy note.  Laughter indeed makes life better.  Laughter helps us feel happy, it helps us be healthier.  Laughter helps […]

LSS Center for New Americans
Lindy Obach, ESL Instructor

I always knew I wanted to be an English teacher – always. So you can probably guess that one of my most favorite places in the world is a public library. Whenever I […]

LSS Development & Foundation
Tonya Jackson, Assistant

You may have heard us describe the LSS mission as a ministry of presence. But what exactly does that mean? Our programs are designed to meet people where they are in life – without judgment, to provide hope and healing, and to offer a chance for them to change their future. But the truth is […]

LSS Center for New Americans
Tim Jurgens, Director

At the Center for New Americans, we work exceptionally hard to make sure our students feel welcome in our school, but we also work to make sure they feel welcome in the community. A great way to accomplish this is to take a field trip! Because our little school is downtown, we are within walking […]

LSS Adoption & Pregnancy Counseling Services
Joyce Twite, Administrative Support Specialist

The goal is for the client to feel good about their plan, whatever that plan may be. And the best part about a Pregnancy Counselor is that their help is FREE!

LSS Center for Financial Resources
Breck Miller, Community Relations Coordinator

I don’t think it’s any secret that there are a lot of differences in America.  But that’s a very deep conversation that we are not going to have here and now.  Instead, I want to talk about something that many, many Americans have in common.  A value of independence. For a long, long time, the […]

LSS Center for New Americans
Heather Glidewell, ESL InstructorHeather Glidewell, ESL Instructor

Community support is vital to our success.  Recently the Black Hills Federal Credit Union chose to lend a helping hand and support our English program here at the Center for New Americans.  A donation of $1800.00 was given towards the purchase of much needed document readers in our classrooms, and with this donation, we were […]

LSS Center for Financial Resources
Breck Miller, Community Relations Coordinator

August 19th.  August 26th.  August 27th.  August 28th.  What do all of these dates have in common?  These are the dates that our local colleges and universities start their 2019 Fall Term.  It’s that time of year again when you will see the great migration.  Students are excited about moving to college.  Moms are crying […]

LSS Center for New Americans
Lindy Obach, ESL Instructor

The LSS Center for New Americans and area business Grand Prairie Foods have had a special relationship for many years now: many CNA clients and students find productive and gainful employment with this wonderful company. Recently, Grand Prairie Foods Owner and Vice President Val Loudenback and Education Program Coordinator Laura Smith-Hill collaborated on a way […]

LSS Center for Financial Resources
Breck Miller, Community Relations Coordinator

We’ve been talking a lot about finances in the family lately.  It’s important to help our kids learn about money.  We can talk all day about concepts and their importance for later in life.  That’s all fine and dandy.  But how do we get there?  What are we even supposed to do with this information?  […]

LSS Mentoring Services
Michelle Madsen, Director

Sue and Bonnie have been matched in the LSS Better Together Program for one year and four months. Bonnie moved to Sioux Falls in 1999 from Winner, SD, where she was a teacher for 28 years. Sue moved to Sioux Falls from the Renner area five years ago. Sue joined Better Together for socialization and […]

LSS Mentoring Services
Michelle Madsen, Director

I love this time of year. Cooler temperatures are just around the corner, school resumes in the coming weeks, fall decor has taken over Hobby Lobby and so much more! At LSS Mentoring Services, this is the time of year when most people start volunteering. It’s the busiest time of year, but the best because […]

KSFY NEWS, Sioux Falls -- Making new friends can sometimes be tough especially if you're older. Maybe your friends and family aren't nearby or maybe they've passed on. There is a program in Sioux Falls designed to meet this specific need of pairing people up who could use some time with a friend---LSS Better Together.

LSS Mentoring Services
Michelle Madsen, Director

Nearly every Thursday, you could find Kyle Beck eating lunch with Max, a soon-to-be 4th grader at RF Pettigrew Elementary. Kyle, who has young children of his own and works full time at Daktronics as a Project Manager, enjoys mentoring at Pettigrew. “I really like being part of the school community here. The staff here […]

LSS Center for Financial Resources
Breck Miller, Community Relations Coordinator

Let me tell you about a college student I had in a class once.  At the end of class, nearly everyone had left except for one student.  The way they held back, I knew there was a conversation coming.  Once the other students left, they finally approached me and said, “I have a problem I […]

LSS Center for New Americans
Lindy Obach, ESL Instructor

Teacher Carol is our resident STEP class teacher here at the Center for New Americans. STEP classes, or Skills That Employ People classes, are offered once or twice a month and range in everything from intro to patient care to housekeeping. In June, the class was all about general manufacturing, where students learned the […]

LSS Center for Financial Resources
Breck Miller, Community Relations Coordinator

Family vacations.  They can be a ton of fun and make memories that last a lifetime.  I can still get sentimental about my own childhood vacations and those were a while ago (a long, long, long time ago if you ask my kids). Sometimes, though, those memories can also come with a cost.  It […]

LSS Center for New Americans
Heather Glidewell, ESL InstructorHeather Glidewell, ESL Instructor

According to the Center for Immigration Studies, a total of 22,491 refugees came to the United States in 2018, and the largest number of refugees came from the countries of Congo, Myanmar, Ukraine, Bhutan, and Eritrea.  It goes without saying that the main languages of these countries are not English but rather Congolese, French, Kayah, […]

LSS Center for New Americans
Lindy Obach, ESL Instructor

The advanced speaking classes at the Center for New Americans recently took advantage of both this beautiful weather AND the opportunity to see the newest, coolest (and did I mention FREE) sight Sioux Falls has to offer: The Levitt Shell at the Falls! Teachers Amy and Lindy, along with wonderful volunteer, Teacher Karen, and their […]

LSS Mentoring Services
Michelle Madsen, Director

LSS Mentoring will expand to Flandreau Middle School in 2019-2020.

LSS Center for Financial Resources
Breck Miller, Community Relations Coordinator

As we reach the tail end of National Home Ownership Month (also known as ‘June’), I thought maybe it would be appropriate to talk about the ways to end ownership of your home.  Hey, all good things must come to an end, right? Sometimes the end is by our choice.  Sometimes we don’t have a […]

LSS Mentoring Services
Michelle Madsen, Director

One question that we are often asked is how can mentoring make a difference? Anecdotal stories abound, and we love to hear those. But we also like to see the impact in numbers. Every year, LSS asks mentors to assess their students progress in nine areas – grades, interest in school, school attendance, behavior, self-esteem, […]

LSS Center for New Americans
Lindy Obach, ESL Instructor

We’re in the business of helping people. Recently, The Center for New Americans has been able to provide resources, career coaching, and job skills classes to refugee student populations in Sioux Falls through a new program called RISE, which helps its participants in overcoming barriers to skilled employment or higher ed. CNA teachers and job […]

LSS Center for Financial Resources
Breck Miller, Community Relations Coordinator

June is National Home Ownership Month.  That’s a mouthful in and of itself.  If you read deeper, however, I think it’s a pretty loaded phrase.  Look at just one of the words – ‘home’.  How would you define home?  Traditionally, it is the single-family home with a white picket fence.  Yeah, you know the kind. […]

LSS Center for New Americans
Heather Glidewell, ESL Instructor

Here are a few more tips I learned from my students over the past couple of months while discussing health care. Home Stomachache Remedies   Stomachaches plague both the young and old.  Perhaps we eat the wrong food or catch a nasty bug.  Maybe we are just stressed out.  Regardless, dealing with a stomachache can […]

Depression and its symptoms can be difficult to identify. With counseling from Lutheran Social Services, you can have a better life.

Lutheran Social Services is licensed in South Dakota to help you determine if adoption is right for you. We’re here with adoption services to assist in every step of this important process.

Lutheran Social Services offers pregnancy counseling for those considering choosing adoption. We support birth mothers, birth fathers, and children throughout the entire process.

LSS Adoption & Pregnancy Counseling Services
Joyce Twite, Administrative Support Specialist

The day before Mother’s Day is recognized as Birth Mother’s Day (May 11, 2019). Here are ten of the ten thousand things birth mothers want the world to know.

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