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LSS Announces Valeria Wicker to Lead the Multi-Cultural Center

photo of Valeria Wicker

LSS is proud to announce the appointment of Valeria Wicker to lead the Multi-Cultural Center in Sioux Falls. Wicker began her new role on November 1.

LSS and the Multi-Cultural Center of Sioux Falls began integrating programming in October. Onboarding Wicker is a positive step in the right direction to a full transition by year-end. “We are excited to have Valeria in this role. She will do a great job in community building and empowerment in Sioux Falls. We are confident Valeria will strengthen existing relationships, develop new connections and create opportunities,” says Rebecca Kiesow-Knudsen, LSS President/CEO.

Wicker comes to LSS from South Dakota State University, Brookings, as a program coordinator for work with Lakota/Dakota programming. She has ten years of experience in education including more than five years with tribal nations. Wicker has a Master of Arts in Teaching, a Bachelor of Arts in Spanish/American Studies, and is fluent in Spanish.

Wicker honors diverse backgrounds and seeks out opportunities to mentor youth and connect with families to keep our community strong and resilient.

“I feel very privileged to be at the helm of the Multicultural Center. The vision of the MCC is very similar to my personal conviction that society is at its best when its wealth of cultures, backgrounds and experiences are valued and thriving,” says Wicker. “In more than 25 years in existence, MCC has offered interpreting and workforce development services, a safe space for youth, and an affordable gathering place. It is part of the rich tapestry of this great city.”

Wicker has lived in Sioux Falls for one year and in South Dakota for almost seven. “I recognized in the MCC a piece of myself. My life, too, has been a meeting of cultures.”

LSS continues to actively listen to the growing needs of our community, and Wicker will play a significant role in shaping multi-cultural services moving forward.  “We will continue to gather insight from individuals and groups from all cultural backgrounds in Sioux Falls, and strategically plan and apply those insights to ensure that the MCC is a valuable and vibrant resource for our community,” continues Kiesow-Knudsen.

Integrating the Multi-Cultural Center into LSS continues to align well with the LSS vision. Wicker supports and is committed to working to make Sioux Falls and South Dakota a welcoming community for individuals from all backgrounds. There will be more exciting developments to come as LSS continues the integration process.

LSS is a private non-profit social service agency. Our vision is that all people in South Dakota will be healthy, safe and accepted. This can be seen through a variety of transformative core services including adoption and pregnancy counseling, foster care, kinship services, childcare & education, disaster response, behavioral health services, re-entry services, Center for Financial Resources, residential services for children and youth, alternatives to detention, independent living services for young adults, mentoring, Better Together, Center for New Americans, Resource Family Services and CARES wraparound services. LSS serves people of all ages, races, faiths and economic levels with professional, confidential and affordable services.

LSS services are licensed by the State of South Dakota and accredited by the Council on Accreditation. LSS is a United Way agency.