Band, Pine County, East Central Public Schools Recognized for Cooperation


Pine County, the Mille Lacs Band of Ojibwe, and East Central Schools received Resource Training and Solutions’ Bridge Award for their collaborative work on Project RISE (Restorative Investment for Student Empowerment). East Central Schools received the award on Monday, November 19, presented by Mark Schmitz, Executive Director, Resource Training and Solutions, at the East Central school board meeting.

Pine County and the Mille Lacs Band of Ojibwe received their awards on Wednesday, December 5, presented by Martha Roth, Member Care Coordinator, Resource Training and Solutions, at the Pine County Commissioners meeting.

Those honored at the East Central School Board Meeting and Pine County Commissioners Meeting for work with Project RISE: Carla Big Bear, Mille Lacs Band of Ojibwe Education Mentor and Office Manager; Katie Draper, Mille Lacs Band of Ojibwe Director of Government Affairs; Andy Almos, East Central Schools Superintendent; Stef Youngberg, East Central High School Principal; Deputy Zak Vork, East Central Schools Resource Officer/Pine County Sheriff’s Office; Dave Minke, Pine County Administrator; Reese Frederickson, Pine County Attorney; Becky Foss, Pine County Health and Human Services Director; Terry Fawcett, Director of Pine County Probation; and Jeff Nelson, Pine County Sheriff.

Project RISE is a partnership put in place to serve kids and families in a way that provides hope by helping students become successful, thriving adults within the community. The project addresses many of the issues that may lead individuals to engage with the criminal justice system. Project RISE is a collaborative, restorative approach in working with these community members that seeks to align services and systems in a better way so that all stakeholders have a better sense of ownership and responsibility for youth within the community. The ultimate goal of Project RISE is to build a healthier, stronger community.

The Resource Training and Solutions’ Bridge Award celebrates those who advance innovative solutions, demonstrate meaningful progress in their community, and advocate for positive change. Criteria for the award includes collaboration with others in an effort to build a ”bridge” between member organizations and other groups that innovate a new process, access, or solution to a problem. The organization must go above-and-beyond normal operations for consideration.

Resource Training and Solutions, a nonprofit, public corporation, is one of nine Minnesota Service Cooperatives that provides support services, training, and resources that contribute to member success. Resource has served central Minnesota for 42 years and is composed of 93 school, city, county, and nonprofit agency members.

Photo: Carla Big Bear received an award from Martha Roth of Resource Training and Solutions for her work on Project RISE, Restorative Investment for Student Empowerment.