|Anya Mueller, BHSU alumni, received the Young Professional of the Year award from the Young Professionals Group in Rapid City. Mueller received the award at the Rapid City Chamber of Commerce’s Annual Meeting in October.
Ever since Anya Mueller was young, she felt the desire to give back to others.
Her hard work and selfless giving earned Mueller, a Black Hills State University alumna, the Young Professional of the Year award given by the Young Professionals Group (YPG) in Rapid City.
Mueller received the award during the Rapid City Chamber of Commerce’s Annual Meeting in October.
In addition to her Young Professional of the Year award, Mueller was recently recognized by the South Dakota Jaycees as one of “Ten Outstanding Young South Dakotans.”
Mueller, who graduated with a mass communications degree, works at KNBN, Rapid City’s NBC affiliate, as a morning news reporter and social media director. She has volunteered her time to the Rapid City Jaycees, United Way, Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Black Hills and the Humane Society of the Black Hills, among many others. Mueller has traveled to Pierre for the past three years to advocate for animal rights and served on the steering and events committees for the Young Professionals Group over the past year.
“It was very humbling,” Mueller said. “I was very honored that my peers thought that much of me to honor me in this way.”
Karen Boydston, Rapid City YPG coordinator said Mueller demonstrates vision, professionalism and involvement, which in turn creates a positive impact on the community.
“We all just enjoy Anya’s enthusiasm and appreciate what she brings to the table, be it a great idea or just a warm presence to the events,” Boydston said. “We are lucky to have her.”
Boydston said Mueller’s ability to balance family, a career and a wide variety of community activities inspires her peers and those that work with her.
“I just felt like volunteering has always been in my heart,” Mueller said. “I always felt so blessed in this life that I’ve always had that urge to give back however much I can.”
Mueller got a start in volunteer work while attending BHSU, where she was involved with a community relations group on campus. She was also part of the Jackettes Dance Team and completed many community service projects with the group.
“I flourished at BHSU and the University provided many avenues to pursue my volunteer work,” Mueller said.
Mueller urges others to get involved in their communities, even if it’s just volunteering for an hour a week.
“You need to volunteer in the community you’re living in,” Mueller said. “It keeps you in touch with the people in your community. There’s always a need. If you’re willing and able, give back. It truly ignites your passion in life when you volunteer.”
The Young Professionals Group strives toward the professional advancement of the 21 to 40-year-old workforce, focusing on the development of future business leaders. This is done through promoting professional development, networking, community involvement and civic awareness.