BISMARCK, N.D. – Gov. Doug Burgum and First Lady Kathryn Burgum have awarded 17 grants to the winners of North Dakota’s first-ever Youth Ending Stigma (YES) Challenge.
The YES Challenge is a collaborative effort between the Office of the Governor, Office of the First Lady and the Office of Recovery Reinvented. It’s designed to enable student-led initiatives and projects focused on eliminating social stigma surrounding behavioral health issues including addiction and mental illness.
“These winners and their initiatives represent the unique and diverse challenges that communities throughout North Dakota face surrounding addiction and mental illness,” Gov. Burgum said. “The students come from rural school districts, large cities and tribal nations, and all of them are equally passionate about this effort to eliminate stigma and create more support for those facing struggles.”
The winners of the Youth Ending Stigma Challenge include:
- Bismarck Century High School
- Central Cass Schools
- Dakota Prairie High School
- Grafton Schools
- Grand Forks Youth Commission
- Hanna Johnson with the Fargo-Moorhead West Fargo Chamber Young Entrepreneurship Academy
- Izzy Garcia with the Sinner-Bresnahan Foundation
- Langdon High School
- Liberty Middle School
- Mandaree High School
- Midkota High School
- Nedrose Schools
- Northern Cass High School
- Rolette High School
- South Prairie High School
- Turtle Mountain Youth Council
“These students are incredible examples of youth ingenuity and leadership in our state,” First Lady Burgum said. “They are leading projects that are focused on creating awareness, empowering communities with knowledge and resources, and creating a safe space to connect with peers and normalize these conversations around mental illness and addiction.”
Students will implement their initiative to eliminate stigma in their school and community over an eight-week period. To follow the progress of the YES Challenge winners on social media, follow the Governor and First Lady on Facebook (@GovernorDougBurgum and @FirstLadyND), Twitter (@DougBurgum and @FirstLadyND), and Instagram (@dougburgum and @firstladynd). The YES grants have been funded through the Recovery Reinvented fund at Dakota Medical Foundation.