Fridell, Mines are character All Stars


Lily Fridell and Levi Mines have been named South Dakota 4-H Character All Stars for the 2018-19 school year.  

These students were nominated at the end of last year by Custer High School  (CHS) administration and teachers.  Fridell is the daughter of Tanya Olson and Matt Fridell. Mines is the son of Cindy Tolle and Bob Mines.  

These two CHS seniors will begin their classroom presentations to Custer Elementary School students in a few weeks. They will share a positive message about being kids who have strong character.  They will focus on the six pillars of character:  trustworthiness, respect, responsibility, fairness, caring and citizenship. They will encourage kids to make healthy life choices and to be involved in their school and community.  The goal of this project is to provide a platform for these students to deliver a positive message through presentations to each classroom.  

Fridell and Mines are no strangers to Custer Elementary, both having grown up in the school district. Both will graduate in May.  Both joined the elementary earlier this year to be a part of its all-school photo for its Red Ribbon/Character Counts/Unity Week. Mines was also a part of a senior project that mentored first graders during their lunchtime each week last semester.

Fridell is an active member of CHS Drama, the National Honor Society and a member of choir, as well as the choir council.  She is a member of the Lo-Ru Dance Troupe. She is a musician and has played and performed music as a vocalist and guitarist in a four-person rock band, as a duo and as a solo act.  She has been performing onstage as a musician since she was 3 years old and she loves entertaining people.  She also loves the outdoors and is a leader of the Custer High School Outdoor Club.  Fridell hopes to use her performance background along with her science and mathematics education to create more interest in the sciences in the general public.

“To me, good character and kindness are synonymous and world-changing,” Fridell said about having good character. “Each individual act of kindness contributes to be a better version of the human experience for the giver as well as the receiver. I believe that only by filling our hearts with love and compassion for others can we build a better future. If each of us, every day, set out to make just one person smile, I think the world would be a much nicer place to live in.”

Mines is a member of the National Honor Society, Custer High School Student Council and is a Wildcat wrestler. He is a leader and role model to other wrestlers on his team. He recently was described by the Custer County Chronicle as  “Pinning and Winning—Senior Levi Mines of Custer pinned his opponent to lead his team to a decisive 72-9 victory.”

Not only is Mines passionate about wrestling people, he also can wrestle cattle. His father has a ranch in Arizona and Levi loves working cattle and helping out with the ranching business.

“Character in my mind is always doing what’s right.  If you get a sinking feeling in your stomach after doing something, you are probably not showing good character,” Mines said. “You should always be proud of your decisions. If you are not, then you should rethink them. Character, I think, is always making choices that would make your parents proud.”

Both Fridell and Mines are honored to have been selected for this program and look forward to visiting students in their classrooms in a few weeks. They are excited to talk to students about making good choices and being kind to one another.