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Sandy Journal

Mindy Wissler receives the Sandy Mentor of the Year Award

Aug 03, 2022 09:16PM ● By Peri Kinder

By Peri Kinder | [email protected]

Mindy Wissler is the first line of defense at Mount Jordan Middle School. As the school’s registrar, she meets with students and families to identify individuals who might need some extra support during the school year. Her work with youth in crisis includes addressing basic needs like food, shelter and safety.

Wissler was nominated by her colleagues to receive the Sandy Mentor of the Year Award for her dedication to helping teens and was presented with the award this spring.

“I feel like the schools are having to step up their game a little bit more in caring for their students,” Wissler said. “I have a lot of kids that when they go home there is really and truly no food in the pantry.”

As part of the counseling center for eight years, Wissler works with students experiencing high levels of anxiety. They also deal with gender identity issues, depression and homelessness where their family is living in a shelter, a motel or sharing an apartment with several other families to help make ends meet.

To combat hunger, Wissler arranged to have weekend food bags sent home with students to ensure they have something to eat while away from school. She has a room filled with food and snacks where students can take anything they need. Wissler said many Sandy elementary schools offer free lunch through the summer for anyone under the age of 18.

“Our need is just starting to grow more here in Sandy,” Wissler said. “Especially with the homelessness. I feel there’s been an uptick in that during the last two years.”

Wissler, who’s been at Mount Jordan for 18 years, helps kids get caught up with schoolwork so they can stay on track, and she works with families to find affordable housing. But often, even with a housing voucher, there is nothing available.

People in the community continue to donate items needed for students at Mount Jordan Middle School. For more information, or to find ways to donate, contact Wissler at 801-826-7407.

“These kids are so amazing. They’re so resilient and they have been through so, so much. And for a lot of them, that’s the only life they know,” Wissler said. “School is a safe place for them so we’re just lucky we’re there to support them and watch out for them and let them know they’re loved.”