Local woman to serve on governor’s Young Women’s Cabinet | Local News

MANKATO — Sophie Hoiseth decided the time was now.

The 24-year-old Mankato resident applied to serve on the Young Women’s Cabinet, which is composed of 32 young leaders from across the state who come from communities that experience some of the greatest disparities in opportunity and outcomes, according to a press release.

Gov. Tim Walz and Lt. Gov. Peggy Flanagan this week announced appointments to the Young Women’s Cabinet, and Hoiseth was among them.

“I got the call,” she said. “It’s pretty exciting. I was driving in the car and after I hung up I let out a little squeal of excitement and then I made sure to call my partner.”

“Serving on the Young Women’s Cabinet is a unique opportunity to make an impact on the lives of current and future Minnesotans,” Walz said in a press release. “I am grateful for this diverse group of leaders and excited to see them pave the way for the next generation of Minnesotans to thrive.”

During the past seven years, the governor’s office and the Women’s Foundation of Minnesota have partnered to achieve equity in opportunities and improve the lives of young Black and Indigenous women, women of color and gender-expansive people.

Cynthia Bauerly, public policy executive in residence with the Women’s Foundation, said Hoiseth has emerged as a leader in her community of Mankato and is well-poised to serve.

“There was an application process and we publicized it with community partners and networks across the state,” Bauerly said of the Young Women’s Cabinet.

“These 32 individuals were selected based on their experiences, their community connections and their interest in building their leadership for the state of Minnesota.”

Hoiseth, Bauerly said, has clearly been invested in her community of Mankato with regard to her work with refugee services, her volunteer work surrounding the topic of fair lending and community theater. She’s also expressed her belief in the power of local communities to make positive changes that impact the entire state of Minnesota, Bauerly said.

Hoiseth works at the Minnesota Council for Churches Refugee Services, a refugee resettlement nonprofit in Mankato, as the community engagement specialist. In her spare time, she volunteers at the Mankato Playhouse as both an actor and a volunteer, and she’s involved in her church.

She was very deliberate in choosing Mankato to settle in after growing up internationally and deciding she wanted to be a “medium fish in a medium pond” here. She attended Minnesota State University and majored in political science, graduating in 2020.

She has followed the Women’s Foundation on social media, and receives the agency’s newsletters, saying she’s “kind of a nerd about that stuff.” The issue she’s most passionate about facilitating change is predatory loans, she said.

“I’m really excited to take my advocacy to the state level,” Hoiseth said.

She hasn’t personally been affected by predatory loans, but through her local advocacy work she has met people who have been, she said.

“Eighteen states have already banned payday lending and I’m excited to be a person who sees that happen in Minnesota,” she said.

Read More: Local woman to serve on governor’s Young Women’s Cabinet | Local News

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